The Haute Ticket

Musings of the fashion and beauty kind, with a little travel thrown in.

The No Seconds Club

How not to host a dinner party.

For those interested in baking, cooking, knitting, any form of domestic goddess goodness, you will not find such interests here. I am much too shallow a writer for that and live by the motto “if I can’t nuke it, I won’t cook it” which sums up my love affair with the microwave.

Alas, coaxed and co-erced by my “friends”, I agreed to host a winter gathering to help ease those January blues. I must have been in a good mood that day.

One pot cooking is my specialty and so I chose the following recipe from County Cavan’s best export, Neven Maguire. It’s perfect for after-work or weekend entertaining and even better for moi, the amateur.

Chilli Con Carne with Spicy Wedges

Serves 6-8*

Ingredients:
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2lb fillet of beef sliced into thin strips
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons dark muscovado sugar
  • 1 pint beef stock (I used a cube)
  • 3 garlic gloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 2lb ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 2 x 14oz/400g cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper
  • crème fraîche and fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
Method:
  • Heat half the olive oil in large pan until very hot
  • Sauté half the beef strips for 10 minutes until nicely browned
  • Drain with a slotted spoon and put o one side.
  • Repeat with the next load of beef.
  • Add the onions to the pain with the chilli powder, paprika, cumin, coriander and sugar.
  • Fry gently until the onions are golden and caramelised.
  • Add the beef along with the stock, garlic, tomato puree and fresh tomatoes.
  • Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and leave it to simmer for one hour giving it a stir every so often.
  • Meanwhile, for those spicy wedges, you want to preheat the oven too 200C.
  • Cut the potatoes into wedges.
  • Blanch for 2-3 minutes in a pan of boiling salted water, then drain.
  • Put some olive oil in a roasting tin with a teaspoon of salt and the Cajun seasoning.
  • Add the wedges and toss until they are all nicely coated.
  • Arrange them into rows sitting upright on their skins.
  • Bake for 35-40 minuts until they are lightly golden or, if you like them crunchy, leave for an extra 10-15 minutes.
  • Back to the beef, add the kidney beans to the beef and simmer for 20 minutes until the beef is gloriously tender.
  • Add a little seasoning.
To Serve:

Spoon the chilli beef into warm wide-rimmed bowls set on plates and garnish with a healthy dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves. Arrange the spicy wedges to one side et voilà, bon appetite!

*Apparently 2lbs of tender strips of fillet should suffice, unless it’s my friends of course. For those wanting seconds, and believe me you will, you are going to need a lot more beef.

Merlot to wash down the chilli is recommended. Advocaat is optional.

Always finish with coffee and a tasty cheese board.

 Over and out.

x

 

Photo By: Kathryn Anderson @kathryntakesphotos

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