The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

Chilli con Carne and refried beans

I won’t, like others, claim that this is the best, the ultimate or even authentic, it just tastes bloody good. I have read, inquired and watched videos about what makes a good Chilli, I also read about the history and the supposedly origins of a true Chilli con Carne. I tried to stay true to its roots and use only South American ingredients, of course this fell at the first hurdle as beef is the main stay of chilli, though you could make it with other meat, pork, Llama, guinea pig or even human flesh (it was thought that Montezuma had the conquistador’s in mind to fill the boiling cooking pots). Also other “Old World” ingredients are onions and various herbs from the Mediterranean region. Enough to say that though the Texans lay claim to the “true Chilli” (they do hold a chilli festival in St Antonio in Texas and is considered by many to be the home of Chilli con Carne), there are many that consider they only addapted what was already a folks food "a chilli meat stew".
As said there are many that claim to be the best, I have even tried few and addapted some of their ideas, but I have, as in the idea of a true Chilli, mixed and matched, I didn’t add beans, but made refried beans a separate dish, these I made over 2 days and are eaten as a separate side dish, as are the Guacamole and the Salsa.
So let’s start at the beginning and this was to make the refried beans.
250g pinto beans
250g navy beans
Soak overnight in plenty of water, next day pour off the water and wash under running water. Then place into a pan with plenty of water and bring to the boil, boil vigorously for 10 minutes and then transferred to the slow cooker, on to low and cooked for 12 hours. While still warm I added salt and pepper, dried oregano, coriander, a good grinding of dried chillies and garlic powder (suit yourself how much, I added about 1 tsp. of each (½ tsp. of salt) gave a good stir and left to cool, transferred to the fridge to keep cool and then into a thermos container for transport. The beans are now ready for the next stage, but more about that later.
Decided to make a two stage Chilli, one entailed cooking the minced goulash beef and diced bug in the slow cooker; this was after browning in a frying pan in a little sunflower oil (do this in batches so it browns not stews). The other was using the real tough pieces, but that are full of collagen and taste, this was used to make a very tasty stock and the meat then diced and added to the chilli for its second stage cooking.
For the stock and the pre-cooked meat

1.2 kg oxtail

900g shin

1 handful of dried soup vegetables

1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 cloves
3 pimento berries
3 crushed juniper berries
1 tsp. Mustard seeds
2 tbsp.  Sunflower oil
1 heaped dsp. Vegetable stock powder (marigold)
3 litres of water
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, add the onion (in chunks studded with the cloves) and garlic, soften, then add the juniper and pimento berries along with the mustard seeds allow to pop, add the shin and oxtail and brown.

Add the dried soup vegetables and pour in the water and bring to a rolling boil, skim the scum off the top as it rises, add the stock powder, give it a stir, top on and bring up to heat.

Cook for an hour and allow to cool.

Skim the fat (there will be plenty), you can either throw it away or keep it to fry things in (beef dripping heart attack)
Take the meat out of the stock with a slotted spoon and remove any remaining skin, gristle and bones. Dice the meat cover and set aside for later.
For the Chilli-con-Carne I used
1 kg cubed oberschale (goulash beef from the top of the rear legs)
800g bug (beef from the top of the shoulder)    
1 large onion diced
2 tbsp. sunflower oil
1 red paprika, stalk and seeds removed and diced
1 square of 80% chocolate
Various chillies, chilli powders, spices and a bouquet garni (consisting of a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, sprig of rosemary)
5 different sorts of chilli consisting of 2 yellow habanero’s, 3 orange pimentos, 1 red pimento, 3 red birds’ eye and a small one that I haven’t a clue. Seeds removed and diced.

I minced the diced oberschale through my trusty old hand mincer, good for the muscles and no other power required.
Dice the shoulder into 5 mm cubes, you don’t have to use a vernier measuring caliper, here a bit of guess work will suffice.

I had 5 different sorts of chilli powder, a smoked one, a hot Turkish one, a sweet Hungarian one, a pungent one and really hot cayenne.

I also used some dried spices.
Dried spices

1 tsp. Coriander seeds

1 tsp. Cumin seeds

5 cm Cinnamon bark

½ tsp. Mace

Grind the spices in an electric grinder (I normally use an old coffee grinder but that was down in NRW), these don’t need to be ground so fine (I don’t mind chomping on pieces of spice), but if you want them finer that’s up to you.
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan, add the onions and soften, now add the dried ground spices, transfer these to the slow cooker.  

Next add the mince and diced beef in batches and brown transferring to the slow cooker,

for the last batch add the diced chilli and the chilli and paprika powders, stirring well, add to the rest of the beef, deglaze the pan with a ladle full of stock, add a dessert spoon of tomato puree and add to the slow cooker with the bouquet garni, set on high for a 5 hours.

I was only using the small slow cooker, so had to transfer the contents to a large saucepan adding the diced cooked oxtail and shin, and also in went the diced flesh of a red pepper.

Add a good litre of the beef stock. Heat through for a good hour, adding the chocolate at the end of the cooking time and adjust seasoning (mine didn’t need any).

Finishing off the refried beans,
Dice some smoked belly into 1cm cubes
100g of lean speck diced
1 large onion
Fry the onion in a little oil until translucent, then add the smoked belly and speck, now add the beans and fry together, this is a true cowboy

I made a Guacamole and a Salsa as an accompaniment along with taco chips, tortillas, sour cream and grated cheesebreakfast.
The Guacamole.
1 ½ avocado removed from the skin and mashed together with,
3 shallots finely diced
1 tomato seeds removed and diced
1 bird’s eye chilli diced
Juice of ½ lime
Pinch of salt
Mix all well together.

Tomato-Chilli Salsa
3 tomatoes flesh only diced
2 birds eye chilli seeds removed and diced fine
3 sundried tomatoes (in oil) sliced and diced
2 shallots diced fine
Chopped coriander
Chopped basil
Juice of ½ lime
Pinch of salt
Mix all together and at the end a good slug of olive oil.

Heat the tortillas in the oven for a couple of minutes, get everything onto the table and your ready for a real Tex/Mex meal wash it down with a nice dry red wine (Spanish or Californian will pass very well to this).

This Chilli con Carne may or may not blow you away, but it certainly hit the spot with us, it was complex, tasty and well spiced, not too hot and if others wish it hotter, then you can always have a bottle of tabasco at hand.

You will have made far too much, but chilli-con-carne is one of those dishes that you can pull out of the freezer when you can not be bothered to cook, go out for a meal or are just plain sick of the Pizzeria around the corner. You will also have a good 2 litres of the finest beef stock all ready for your next French onion soup.

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