Beanie con Carne

Beanie con Carne

Beanie con Carne

As I have mentioned elsewhere on this site, I am allergic to chilli.  Now, generally, this does not bother me terribly much as I have no immediate desire to set fire to my insides and sweat like Grand National winner... however I do get a pang of deprivation when I hear people waxing lyrical about Chilli con Carne.  I even like the smell.
The dish below is a result of this yearning, and follows the basic Chilli con Carne model, just – ah – without the chilli.  To fill that flavour-void I have made a combination of herbs and spices which I think is really rather successful and tasty and which I have enjoyed on many occasions.
I hope this recipe pleases a few other chilli-phobics – or just add the chilli if you insist.

Beans!500 grams lean beef mince
1 large Spanish onion, finely diced
1 green capsicum, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 small eggplant, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 ripe roma tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 tin crushed tomatoes
1 tin cannellini beans
1 tin red kidney beans
Few sage leaves, finely sliced

In a very hot frying pan, heat a little olive oil and add the spices.  Toast the spices until they are aromatic, then add the onion  and allow to caramelise a before adding the mince.  Cook through well, draining off any excess fat or moisture.
Add the capsicum, eggplant and fresh tomatoes and cook through until tender, then reduce the heat to low add the wine, tinned tomatoes and salt and leave the mixture to simmer for 35 minutes uncovered.
Stir regularly to ensure the mix does not stick.

In a second, smaller, pan or saucepan add the drained beans and dry fry on a medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until the beans are shiny and puffed up.  Add a little of the tomato juice to the beans and the finely sliced sage, drain off and discard any excess liquid. 
Cooking the beans slightly before adding them to the main mixture helps them retain their 'beaniness' in that first cook and cooks off any residual liquid from the tin that you do not want in your main mix.

Once the beans are warmed through and puffed up, add them to the tomato mix.
Cook gently for about 25 minutes.
Serve with toasted corn tortillas, a sprinkle of dried oregano and sour cream.

Vegetarian Version : (Beanie sans Carne) add a little extra egg plant or a zucchini in place of the beef mince – any veg that has a bit of body and can absorb and tolerate a strong tomato sauce.  Reduce the final cooking time to just 15 minutes or your veg will fall apart.

And yes... you can add chilli if you really want....