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Carne con Chile

Serves

Serves 2

Cooks In

Over 60 minutes

Difficulty

Easy

In northern Mexico they cook a great dish that may sound familiar... 'carne con chile', literally translating as 'meat with chilli'. It's different to the chilli con carne recipes most of us know, as it doesn't contain beans or tomatoes, just pure silky chilli puree for the sauce. The variations on this dish are endless: use beef, lamb, pork or goat, pinto or black beans and top with anything from a simple squeeze of lime to 'the works' (avocado, chopped fresh green chilli, coriander, creme fraiche, diced onion, grated cheese, lime wedges, shredded lettuce, sliced radishes...).

Method

  1. Wipe the dried chillies clean and remove the stems and seeds. Open out flat and toast briefly in a dry pan on a medium heat until toasted and fragrant, then soak in just boiled water for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  3. Heat a large ovenproof casserole pan over a medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of oil and brown the meat in batches, then place on a plate.
  4. Add another tablespoon of oil and brown the onion and garlic, then add the Carne Con Carne Spice Mix and stir. Add the meat and its juices, remove from the heat and leave to one side
  5. Drain the chillies, keeping the soaking liquid. In a small food processor, or using a hand blender and its jug, blend the chillies, adding the soaking liquid little by little until a smooth, paste-like puree.
  6. Sieve the chilli paste into the pan, add enough water to cover the meat then put back on the heat, stir and bring to the boil for a few minutes. Place the pan in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 21?2-3 hours or until the meat is meltingly tender. As it bakes a crust will form – every half an hour stir this in, adding more water to keep everything nice and moist and stop the bottom of the pan sticking. Set a timer so you don’t forget!

Serve with your choice of toppings, salsa and freshly warmed corn tortillas.