My Mum is a fabulous cook and we always had much more exciting meals than my friends when I was growing up. Osso Buco was not that common in Canberra in the 70s. Sometimes I wished not so exciting – I don’t like Osso Buco – I find it way too fussy to eat. Which is why you will probably never find things like ribs on my blog. I am just not into bones in meat. It means I probably miss out on some great flavours but there you go. I do love some black pudding though thanks to my eating experiences as a child.
One dish that I don’t remember us having is chili con carne. Sure my Mum cooks it now but it is not a childhood dish that I remember having. As an adult it is something I have cooked but mainly using dodgy packet mixes. It was not a dish I took very seriously and the meals made with the packet mix were never that flavoursome.
As part of my weight loss I have been perusing food websites looking for great low fat recipes and possibly because many of the sites are from the US, there are a lot of chili recipes out there. I thought there had to be more to this chili phenomenon than what I had been cooking.
My first non packet mix chili was a bit out of the ordinary – a turkey and white bean chili from skinnytaste which I wrote about here: http://www.shrinkingsingle.com/white-bean-turkey-chilli/. I like this recipe and it is a great recipe to make if you know you are going to be busy and need dishes that will reheat well. But I felt I should try a beef based chili.
In my hunt for good recipes, I came across this recipe for beer braised beanless chili.
I made two serves of this and to do this I just cut the recipe in half ie the following ingredients:
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1/2 an onion, chopped
- 3 tsp of minced garlic (equal to 3 cloves)
- 220g of minced beef
- 90ml of beer (I used lager)
- 220ml of beef stock
- 84g of tomato paste
- 200 gm diced tomatos – half a 400g can and I didn’t bother to drain mine
- 2 tsp of chilli powder
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 2 tbs of barbecue sauce
- 2 tsp of hot sauce (I used maggi chilli sauce the first time I made this. The second time I googled hot sauce and it said hot sauce meant tabasco sauce. I nearly blew my head off, even with adding less than the 2 teaspoons.)
I followed the recipe as given. The recipe reheats well so making two batches certainly makes sense. The preparation time of 5 minutes and the cook time of 25 minutes are pretty accurate if you use minced garlic like I did.
I have probably committed some crime in that I threw out the beer I didn’t use. I am not a huge beer fan (sacrilege in Australia) and am not willing to use calories on it. I hate throwing out food but am not going to eat just for the sake of feeling less guilty about wasting food. Otherwise I had little wastage. I used the other half an onion for another recipe and had the tomatoes heated up and on toast for breakfast the next day.
I assume the beer means I still haven’t tried to make a fairly authentic chilli so will continue the hunt for a good recipe – please post a link in the comments if you have one. But this recipe is pretty tasty and I would definitely make it again. I used a lager for the beer – VB to be precise and the dish was perhaps a little bit sweeter than I would have liked. Next time I make this I might try a different beer. Having said that, when I reheated this later in the week, I was expecting the sweetness and enjoyed it. So perhaps it was just that the sweetness was surprising the first time that threw me.
I didn’t add the yoghurt and cheese on top to keep the calories down. Without the cheese and yoghurt the calories came in at 381 calories and I had my chilli with a baked potato. Next time I might forgo the potato and have the cheese and yoghurt as the picture on melaniemakes does look very delicious.