One of my favourite things in life is food. It always evokes a sense of nostalgia for me, of childhood comforts, teenage angst, university travels, and snuggly nights in.
Slow cooker chilli con carne and corn bread is a childhood favourite, funny though as my children aren’t huge fans of the chilli, but they sure love the corn bread! Hopefully you will enjoy making this as much as I do on the next cold winter night.
Chilli con Carne
1 pkg lean ground beef/beef mince
1 can red kidney beans
1 can tomato passata
1 beef stock cube
3 cloves garlic
1 stalk celery
1 red pepper
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (my secret ingredient!)
salt & pepper to taste
How to make it
Prepare all your vegetables. Chop the celery, carrot and red pepper into small cubes and place in the slow cooker. Cut two of the cloves of garlic in half and add to the vegetables. Take the other clove of garlic and finely chop it. Set it aside. Roughly chop 3/4 of the onion and add to the vegetables, finely chop the remainder and put it together with the garlic. Rinse and drain the kidney beans and add to the slow cooker along with the passata.
In a large pan saute the finely chopped onion and garlic until it begins to soften, then add the beef, crumble in the stock cube and add the paprika and chilli powder. Once the beef is browned, add to the slow cooker. Mix everything together then prepare to add the secret ingredient. Mix the cocoa powder with a little bit of water until it forms a smooth paste, then add it to the pot. Trust me, it makes a difference! Turn the slow cooker on and cook on Low for 6 hours or High for 4, stirring occasionally and adjusting the salt and pepper to taste when needed.
About 40 minutes before you are ready to serve the chilli it is time to make the corn bread.
1/4 cup butter melted
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cups of yellow cornmeal (also known as polenta mix/flour)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup demerara or granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
How to make it
Heat your oven to 120C/350F and prepare a 9-inch round cake pan or an 8-inch square pan. You can use cooking spray, but I prefer to use oven paper and just cut it to size.
In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk and egg. Then add all the dry ingredients together and stir just until the flour is moistened. Don’t worry if it’s lumpy!
Pour the batter into the pan and flatten with a rubber spatula. Use it to scrape all the goodness out of the bowl too.
Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick (cocktail stick) comes out clean from the centre. Serve warm with your delicious chilli.