Go-to dinner recipe for Pulled Beef Chilli Con Carne – cook in large quantities and freeze
1kg beef shin, bone in
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
½ cup finely chopped celery stalks
1 heaped tbs crushed garlic
1 tsp normal paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika (Woolies stocks it)
2 tsp powdered cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbs tomato paste
1 beef stock cube
2 large fresh tomatoes, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 heaped tbs fresh oreganum (use 1 level tbs if dried)
vegetable or canola oil, for frying
salt to taste
low fat smooth cottage cheese (I used the lovely one from Parmalat’s new range)
crunchy butter or cos lettuce, chopped
fresh coriander (cilantro)
Tabasco, for the brave
Heat a large thick-bottomed saucepan with some oil. Salt the shin generously. Fry the shin on either side until wonderful and caramelised. This is pure flavour, so be patient. (Tip: Fry it in 2-3 batches. If you put all the meat in at once, the temperature will lower too much and the meat will steam instead of brown, the exact opposite of what you want!)
Remove the meat and set aside. Now add the chopped onion to the same pan along with another glug of oil. (Tip: There is a lot of veggie chopping here, so I forego my beloved board and chef’s knife when I make this and bang the onions, carrots, celery and tomatoes in my food processor instead. One veggie at a time obvs.) Fry the onion for 5 minutes, then add the carrots and celery and fry for a further 5 minutes. Add the garlic and tomato paste and fry for 2 minutes. Now add the beef along with all the resting juices, the stock cube, the chopped tomatoes, herbs and one cup of water.
Cover the pan, turn the heat as low as it will go and walk away. Cook for 2-3 hours until the meat falls off the bone. If the temperature is low enough and the lid tight enough, you should not need more liquid, but check it from time to time. Once soft, remove from the heat and use two forks to flake the meat. Return the meat to the pan, turn the heat up high and reduce until the chilli con carne is thick and glossy. Taste and adjust salt if necessary. Serve with all of the sides and let everyone build his or her perfect chilli con carne wrap.
Add a can of rinsed red kidney beans to bulk this up.
Be naughty and replace the cottage cheese with sour cream and grated cheddar cheese.
Mini tortilla wraps instead of large ones make this a great cocktail snack.
Layer tortilla chips on a large ovenproof platter, dish over the chilli, top with grated mozzarella cheese and put in a hot oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Top with some tomato and red onion salsa, coriander leaves and a dash of guacamole and dig in. Real Friday-night-with-wine-and-telly food!