Saturday, July 16, 2011

Chilli Con Carne Stuffed Capsicums

Chilli is one of those ridiculously easy meals that can be dressed up in countless ways, and nothing is better than the combination of chilli, cheese, and capsicums.

Tonight we decided to dress up our chilli con carne with some roasted capsicums and I must say, the results were delicious!

What will I need?

4 x red capsicums
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs crushed chillies (less if you prefer mild, more if you prefer hot)
500g beef mince
2 x stock cubes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
200g corn kernals
200g red kidney beans
1/2 tasty cheese, grated
Sour cream, to serve.

What now?

1.             Let’s start by preheating the oven to 180oC, and preparing an oven tray with a light layer of olive oil.

2.            Next, we need to cut the tops of the capsicums and remove the core and seeds, before rubbing the capsicums with olive oil and setting aside for later. Be careful and keep an eye out for rotton capsicums - it can be hard to tell when a capsicum has gone off purely from looking at the outside flesh.

3.             In a saucepan, heat a small amount of olive oil over low heat. to this we add some chopped onions and once they are translucent qw need to add the garlic and stir until fragrant. As always, add as much or as little garlic as you'd like. Seasonings are so personal it's one thing I can't tell you how to do to perfection!

4.           Into the oniona nd garlic, crumble the stock cubes. When cooking mince I always add two stock cubes per 500g to get back that real beef flavour that I feel is lost when cooking minced beef - it also means there's no need to add salt later. After the stock cubes have been mixed with the onion and garlic, add the chilli paste - always to your tastes in case you prefer more or less heat!

5.             Once the onion, garlic, chilli and stock cubes are prepared, raise the temperature to low-medium and add the mince, breaking it down. We don’t need to cook the mince thoroughly as it will have further time in the oven, so we just need to break it down so it’s no longer lumpy.

6.             Now that the meat has been comboned with the onion, garlic and chilli, stir through both the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes and once thoroughly combined add the kidney beans and corn.

7.             Stir until everything is thoroughly combined, and leave to simmer for approximately 10 minutes until excess liquids have simmered off.

8.             Now that the chilli is ready and not too runny - remembering that the both capsicum meat will release its own moisture as they cook, divide the chilli between the capsicums, filling them until the filling is only slightly over the top of the capsicum. Add grated cheese over the top of the capsicums to create a lid.

9.             The final step is popping the capsicums in the oven and roasted for 45 minutes at 180oC. The capsicums will be ready when they start to change colour and their skin is wrinkled, so depending on your oven may need an extra minute or two, or maybe even less!

10.         Serve with sour cream, and enjoy!