Potjiekos Chilli Con Carne
Gee, doesn't time fly when your having fun? This week the weather just got worse and winter is now nearly here in the UK, gales and rain nonstop for the last week. So with all this gloomy weather I thought that a warm stew would be just what we all need and what could be better than a Potjiekos (literally meaning pot food) but with a twist. Chilli Con Carne, lends itself really well to this sort of cooking and we've got a great cheat spice pack which we sell and will make this one of the easiest and tasty meals you can prepare for all the family. Its one of the one shot recipe packs from Nice n Spicy and they make a very good chilli con carne, its not to hot so if you like a big burn then you will need to add a couple of chillies to the recipe to spice it up.
Hears a little history of Potjiekos, this is very traditional way of cooking in SA and when the first Dutch settlers arrived in the Cape, they brought with them their ways of cooking food in heavy cast iron pots, which hung from the kitchen hearth above the fire. However long before their arrival the indigenous people of Africa who were migrating into South Africa as well, learned the use of the cast iron cooking pot from Arab traders and later from the Portuguese colonists. These cast iron pots were able to retain heat well and only a few coals were needed to keep the food simmering for hours. They were used to cook tender roasts and stews, allowing steam to circulate inside instead of escaping through the lid. The ingredients were relatively simple, a fatty piece of meat, a few potatoes and some vegetables were all that was needed to cook a delightful meal. You don't have to stick with traditional recipes which is why Im going to try doing a Chilli so lets see how it comes out.
Serves 4 - Prep: 20 mins - Cook Time: 100 mins
- 1 x pack of Nice n Spicy Chilli Con Carne (click on the link to buy from our web site) you can add a couple of extra chillies if you like it hot
- 500g Beef Stewing Steak cubed to bite size or you can use beef mince or cubes of pork if you prefer
- 100g of bacon roughly chopped or Pancetta
- 2 x large finely chopped Garlic cloves
- 1 x red or green Pepper chopped
- 1 x chopped red onion
- 1 x chopped white onion
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- Tin of Kidney Beans
- Steamed rice to eat with the chilli when ready
- Put a large saucepan or potjie (dutch Oven) over a medium heat on the braai or over some coals and fry off the bacon or Pancetta until it starts to get crispy
- Add the first sachet of spice to the meat and mix around, one the bacon is crispy add the meat and brown off sealing in the juices
- Remove from the potjie but leave the fat in the potjie and set aside to add back in once you have sautéed the onions
- Add the chopped garlic to the potjie and stir so they don't burn
- Next, add the second sachet of spice to the onions and peppers, stir and then poor into the potjie pot, sauté these for a few moments until they soften
- Add the meat and bacon back into the potjie and sauté for a few more moments
- Now pour in the chopped tomatoes and then the kidney beans, stir
- Next dissolve the last packet of spices in a cup of hot water, this is a blend of seasoning and a thinking agent (corn flower) add to the mixture and stir.
- Bring to the boil and the leave to simmer for 90 mins at 150°C (300°F) if on a braai or in the oven or on low heat if on a cooker plate. Or over some coals, you can place a few on the lid to keep the temperature even if you want.
If you've got a heavy potjie and the heat is not to high your potjie pot should protect the food inside but its worth occasionally lifting the lid and giving it a stir, you don't want the bottom to catch and burn. All thats left to do is make some steamed rice (Tactic rice if you're from SA click on the link and you can purchase it from our web site) and serve the Chilli Con Carne on a bed of steaming rice.
This recipe once again turned out pretty well, the only thing I would have liked is it a bit hotter, so the addition of some extra chillies would have been a good idea. These one shot spice packs are really good and the taste is pretty authentic as far as I'm concerned. I will however start to be more adventurous in the coming weeks once my confidence is high and I know just how this braai is going to react. It's amazing what and how well it cooks, its making me look good at the moment as I have not a big disaster as yet (hope i'm not tempting fate). Thanks for taking time to follow this blog and please feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section.