About this recipe:Slow-cooked beef and beans in a rich tomato sauce spiced with chillies and cumin makes an inviting meal on any day, and warm, crumbly cornbread studded with corn kernels and mild green chilli is the perfect accompaniment. Serve with a crisp salad for a hearty, well-balanced meal.
1 tbsp (15ml) extra virgin olive oil
350 g lean stewing beef, trimmed of all excess fat and cut into small cubes
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes (about 400 g)
2 cans red kidney beans (about 400 g each), drained and rinsed
1, 1/4 cup (300 ml) salt-reduced beef stock
For the cornbread
1 cup (130 g) cornmeal
1 cup (140 g) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 large egg
1 cup (250 ml) low-fat milk
1 cup (140 g) fresh or frozen corn kernels, thawed if frozen
1 small mild fresh green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish, add the beef and fry over a high heat, stirring occasionally, for 3–4 minutes or until well browned. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon.
Reduce the heat to low and add the onion to the pan. Stir well and cook gently for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin seeds and chilli flakes and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then return the meat to the pan. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, beans and stock. Stir well and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture is simmering gently, then cover with a lid and cook for 1–1½ hours or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, make the cornbread. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and grease a shallow 20 cm square cake tin with cooking spray. Mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Combine the egg with the milk and stir in to make a thick, rough-looking batter (do not overmix or the bread will be tough). Fold in the corn and chilli. Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 20–25 minutes or until firm to the touch.
Turn the cornbread out of its tin and cut into large squares. Serve the chilli con carne in warmed bowls, with the warm cornbread on the side.