T’was the day before (Comfort) Sunday . .

Sometimes, recipes just evolve in a family.  Someone will find a basic one, someone else adds another ingredient, another person another.  This meal recipe is one of those – my daughter, Alice, started making this at least 8 years ago as she left home then! I’ve added to it and her fiance, Ben, added a side dish – to which I added to as well!  You will all recognise it – but perhaps this is a little bit different – and the best of it is that this is actually best made the day before so the flavours have time to marinade. The weather looks good for Sunday – sunny, 11oC and no rain – so make this ahead and go out for the day, knowing you have got something warming to go home to!


CHILLI CON CARNE (looks like this may be complicated because of  number of ingredients but I promise it isn’t)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 250 grams minced beef
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons Heinz Fiery tomato ketchup (secret ingredient)
  • 1 red chilli/dried chilli flakes or to taste (don’t forget you can buy chilli, garlic and ginger frozen so you don’t have to buy a load and then not use)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon (optional)
  • good shake of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • can of red kidney beans
  • some fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 squares dark chocolate (secret ingredient 2)

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until soft.  Add the mince, cooking quickly till browned.  Pour in the red wine  and boil for 2 – 3 minutes (have one for yourself whilst you are waiting).Stir in the tinned tomatoes, puree, chilli, cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon, Worcester sauce and Tomato sauce and crumble in the stock cube.  Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook gently for about 40 minutes. If the mixture still looks wet, I then cook it more fiercely until rich and thickened.  Add the beans and fresh coriander – and chocolate! Serve with lime wedges, guacamole,  rice and/or crusty bread/baked potatoes/salad/ or –

Ben’s Quesadillas (I’d never bothered with these before but my son-in-law-to-be introduced them to me and now we have them every time!)

  • 2 Flour tortillas (find them in the bread or world food aisles)
  • cheese (if I can find it there is a mexican (cheddarish) cheese with tiny chopped chillis but any kind of hard cheese will do if not)
  • cooked spinach (my add )
  • to taste – minced garlic, chilli, spring onions or a little chopped red onion

Put one tortilla on a board and cover with whichever of the other above ingredients you like (the cheese is a definite). Cover with the other one and press together. In a large enough frying pan to take the tortilla whole, put in a tiny bit of oil and heat hot. Put the quesadilla in and quickly fry for about a minute, turn over and fry again for another minute (the cheese inside should be melted). Cut into slices and mop up the chilli!  (I’ve since discovered if you have any left over you can pop them in a toaster bag and toast them for a couple of minutes in the toaster for breakfast with a boiled egg!)


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