Monday, 28 March 2011

Store cupboard pork, bacon and black bean chili

Due to the ongoing drama of a broken down fridge and freezer and feeling the pinch of having spent $1,500 to replace it, I decided to buy nothing extra to make dinner, but to only use what we had available in the cupboards and the small beer fridge we are currently using as our substitute. I found some tinned tomatoes and some black soy beans, along with a can of chipotle chili in adobo sauce, which seemed a perfect combination along with some left over roast pork shoulder and back bacon and lo and behold a chili was born.

The beans were bought online from a speciality low carb shop. they are black soy beans and are a little less meaty and toothsome than the red kidney beans usually associated with chili. They worked well though, providing some interest and an added dimension.

I think tinned tomatoes are one of my most beloved ingredients. I use them in soups, stews, pasta sauces, curries and completely unadorned on some toasted wholegrain bread with perhaps just a touch of black pepper and maybe a sprinkling of cheese if I feel extravagant. Then, I would pop them under the grill and wait until the cheese melts and the edges of the bread are extra crispy, enjoying the sogginess of the bread underneath the tomato and juice. The only time I am unhappy with a tinned tomato is when one is served to me with it's juice as part of an English breakfast. I do not want my sausages, egg and bacon swimming in tomato juice and would probably prefer a nice Heirloom roasted instead.

I left the chipotle chilies from the tin in whole. Neil was not impressed. Even with sour cream and cheese, he complained endlessly that this was too hot. Never mind the fact that I had spent no money (something that usually makes him smile), and had made this completely from scratch, if it's too hot, it's a failure. I enjoyed it.

Recipe : Pork and bacon chili
1 onion, diced
1 big clove garlic, chopped finely
6 rashers back bacon, cubed
1 tbsp oil
1 tin plum tomatoes
1 tin beans (anything you like)
1/2 tin chipotle chilies in adobo sauce or 1 tbsp chili powder (to taste, depending how hot you like it)
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chicken stock paste or 1/2 chicken stock cube
1/2 cup leftover shredded roast pork (optional)
10 baby potatoes, peeled and halved
4 sun dried tomatoes
salt and black pepper (to taste, remember bacon can be salty)

To serve:
1 tbsp sour cream
1/2 cup grated cheese
1 lime, halved
some extra pickled chilies (optional)

Heat the oil in a heavy pan over medium heat and saute the bacon until starting to brown a little.
Add the onion and garlic and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let the vegetables soften for about 10 minutes.
Add all other ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low - medium, cover and let simmer for about 40 minutes.
Serve with the extras on top as desired.

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