Mexican classic beef with chilli, red pepper rice and a wonderful fresh salsa. Comfort food at its very best.
Serves two people
Preparation time 30 minutes, cooking time 1 hour
This recipe uses gaujillo chillies and chipolte paste to give the chilli sauce that authentic flavour. Firstly gaujillo chillies, garlic and tomato are dry fried, before being blended with cumin seeds and chipolte paste. Beef mince is browned with some white onion in a little oil, then the paste is added along with all spice berries, bay leaf, oregano, some water and seasoning. The dish is slowly simmered for around an hour to reduce the sauce and bring out the rich deep flavours.
Red pepper rice works so well with this dish, or indeed as a side to any mexican dish. Onion, garlic and half a red bell pepper are fried in a little oil then washed long grain rice is added along with chilli powder and tomato paste. The rice is fried in the oil and stirred until each grain is coated. Chicken stock is then added along with seasoning before the rice is covered and reduced to simmer. After the stock is absorbed the rice is fluffed up with a fork before serving.
The salsa is a straightforward mix of corn, tomatoes, spring onion, red onion, avocado, red chilli, coriander, seasoning, a little sugar and lime juice. Best done 1-2 hours in advance, mixed well and set aside to let the flavours come together. A winner with any mexican dish or as a dip for tortilla chips.
As an extra accompaniment I served this dish with corn tortillas and sour cream.
Ingredients and method
Carne con chilli
2 gaujillo chillies – soak in water for 30 minutes
3 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
3 round tomatoes
tsp cumin seeds
1 and half tsp chipolte paste
220 -300g good quality minced beef
1 white onion – diced
2 all spice berries
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Method: Dry fry the garlic, guajillo chillies and tomatoes over a medium heat for 5-6 minutes, turning frequently until charred. Remove from heat and set aside until cooled. Peel the garlic then add to a mini blender along with the unpeeled tomatoes, gaujillo chillies, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1.5 tsps chipolte paste and blend well until smooth. In a separate pan and the oil and heat over a medium heat, once hot brown the mince along with the onion. Next add the paste from the blender, approx 200ml water, 2 all spice berries, a bay leaf and a tsp oregano. Stir well bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for approximately 1 hour. Stir occasionally and add a little more water if the chilli becomes too dry.
Red pepper rice
150g long grain rice – rinse before use
1 white onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop
Half a red bell pepper – diced
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp chilli powder – use extra for extra heat
400ml chicken stock
1 tbsp oil
Method: Heat the oil over a medium heat in a saucepan then fry the onions, garlic and bell pepper for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice along with 2 tsp tomato paste and 1 tsp chilli powder, stir well and fry the mixture for 30 seconds. Pour in the chicken stock along with a little seasoning, stir once and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and reduce to a simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the liquid is fully absorbed. Remove from heat, remove lid and fluff rice with a fork.
4 Tbsp sweetcorn
2 round tomatoes – finely chopped
1 red onion – diced
1 avocado – diced
Handful coriander leaf – chopped
2 spring onions – thinly sliced
2 red bird eye chillies – thinly sliced
salt and pepper – to taste
Half teaspoon of brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
Method – This is really as simple as mixing all the ingredients in a large bowl, cover and setting aside in fridge. In My opinion it is best done 2-3 hours in advance and brought to room temperature 30 mins before serving.
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