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Gruntie’s Chilli con carne

Gruntie’s chilli con carne stuffed peppers

Gruntie’s Chicken Jalfrezi

Gruntie’s Lamb Madras

Gruntie’s Carbonara

Gruntie’s Chilli con carne

This is one of my wife’s favrits, to such an extent that she does not want me to share it with anyone! In the UK so many chilli con carnes seem to be just a spicy tomatoey bolognaise. Gruntie’s Nachips and refried beans are perfect as a starter before this meal and can be found in the Starters and Soups section.

I like my chilli to be smokey, spicey and MEATY! Mexican’s do use beer in their cooking and I think that the addition of a dark beer really enhances this dish. I like my chilli to be quite dry, not sloppy and I don’t mind if the chilli catches a little on the bottom of the pan- it improves the flavour. I often cook it the day before before I intend to serve it as it allows the flavours to develop.

Ingredients: This should feed about 6 peeps. 1 kiloish of beef mince, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped fat red chilli, 3 cloves of smushed garlic, half a chorizo ring finely chopped, a couple of teaspoons of ground cumin, an extra sprinkle of cayenne papper [if you want an extra kick], a small bottle of stout or real ale [beer], a quarter pint of beef stock [if using a stock cube, use a low salt version], a couple of tablespoons of refried beans, smoked paprika and ground pepper to taste. Optional – A can of pinto or kidney beans. Note – As the stock and the refried beans are rather salty I don’t normally add any extra salt to this recipe.

Method: Start off by browning the mince in a large casserole dish and then remove it with a slotted spoon and keep it to one side in a bowl. Fry the onions in the juices that remain in the pan for a few minutes before adding in the chopped garlic, red chilli and chorizo. Mix it all up and continue to gently fry for a few more minutes. Return the browned meat to the pan and mix it all up thoroughly before adding the stock and the stout. Throw in the paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper with some ground pepper, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer [partially covered] for ages, stirring occasionally until it reduces to the consistency you like.

Finally stir in a couple of tablespoons of refried beans along with the pinto beans and simmer the mixture for another 20 minutes. It should now be ready to scoff! Serve with rice or stuff a pepper with the mixture and bake it in the oven. If you have any left over, it freezes really well.

Gruntie’s pepper stuffed with chilli.

Alternative Serving suggestion- You can also stuff peppers with this and make a gutsy tomato sauce and bake it in the oven, it’s delicious. Ingredients for the tomato sauce: A tin of chopped tomatoes [or use fresh], a finely chopped onion, a couple of finely chopped cloves of garlic, a small glass of red wine, a small glass of water, a teaspoon of smoked paprika, a pinch of oregano, a teaspoon of ground cumin, salt and pepper. Optional- cayenne pepper, if you want the sauce spikey!

Tomato sauce method: Gently fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes and then plop in the tomatoes and all of the other ingredients. Simmer for a round 20- 30 minutes partially covered until it has thickened. You will have to stir it on occasion to keep it from sticking. I like my sauce to be chunky and fairly thick. Slice the top off a couple of peppers and scrape out the seeds. Mix a couple of spoons of the sauce with the cooked chilli con carne mix and stuff the peppers with it, replacing the tops. Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish, pour a small glass of water into the pan and drizzle the peppers with olive oil. Bake in a low/ medium oven for around 30-40 minutes until the peppers are cooked and start to blacken. Serve with rice and the warm sauce.

Gruntie’s chicken Jalfrezi

This is a simple but tasty curry to make. I often make it in advance and reheat it when required. It freezes well if you leave out the peppers which tend to go mushy, so you can add them later. Gruntie’s Tarka Daal works well as a side dish with this curry, you can find it in the Veggie section.

Ingredients: To feed 2-3 peeps. A couple of chicken boobies cut into bite sized chunks, 1 onion, one or two hot green chilli peppers, a small piece of fresh ginger, 2- 3 cloves of garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, 3 teaspoons turmeric, 3 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, teaspoon of garam masala, salt to taste, some vegetable oil. Fresh finely chopped coriander (sprinkles). Optional: Sliced green peppers, slices of onion.

Method: In a heavy casserole dish fry the chicken boobs in the oil then remove and keep to one side. Using an electric blender whizz the onion, garlic, fresh chilli’s and ginger into a pulp and plop the mixture into the hot oil and simmer gently for several minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn or stick. Whizz the tomatoes and add to the pan and stir it into the oniony chilli mush with a big pinch or two of salt. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, partially covered and stirring frequently. It may splutter a bit and make a mess at this stage. When the sauce has thickened to a nice dark pulp, return the chicken to the pan and simmer for a further 15 minutes. If required you can add a splash of water if the sauce is too gloopy. Towards the end add the garam masala and the onion and fresh peppers which adds a nice texture to the curry. Serve with the coriander sprinkles and basmati rice.

Gruntie’s Lamb Madras- Coming soon!

Gruntie’s Lamb Madras

Gruntie’s nearly [but not quite] authentic Carbonara

Everyone probably knows the creamy version. The authentic version uses no cream at all but it’s really creamy! I love it.

Ingredients: to feed two to three peeps: 200 grams of pasta [spaghetti works well, but on this occasion I chose penne], about 50 grams of pancetta, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 whole eggs, one egg yolk, a slug of olive oil and a knob of butter, as much parmesan as you fancy, ground black pepper, chopped parsley. And for the not very authentic bit – a few slices of mushrooms thrown in with the pancetta.


Mix the eggies in a bowl and stir into it a large amount of finely grated parmesan cheese and some black pepper until its a thick gooey mush. Slowly fry the pancetta pieces in the oil and butter and add to this the garlic which you have squashed with the flat blade of a knife. Allow the garlic and pancetta to crisp nicely. Remove the garlic at this stage [My wifey and I like to nibble on it]. While this is happenning you can cook the pasta in a saucepan with plenty of salted water. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Then gently stir the cheesy eggy mush into the pasta. Serve immediately and finish off with the chopped parsley sprinkles. The end result should be rich and inviting and not eggy. No cream required!

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