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Monthly Archives: September 2010

And in the morning, I’m making Chilli..

I’m making chilli a little later, and as I’ve had a couple people ask about my recipe for it, I thought I’d post it here. I make no warranties or claims about how good it is,  but the people who have tried it seem to like it. I don’t go for the hottest, take the roof of your mouth off, taste it for 15 years, style of cooking, so be warned this is not that type of chilli if that’s what you want from a chilli. Having said that, I do like it to have a bit of a kick – it is chilli after all. Because it’s not the hottest of chilli, it does make for a versatile topping, and it’s equally at home on a jacket potato or pasta as it is on rice. If you do decide to go with a jacket or pasta, then I’d also suggest some greated cheese – it just works well with the chilli.

Ingredients required:

The weights don’t need to be exact, so if you are converting them it’s probably simplest just to go with an amount which matches you local pack size – as long as you are in the same ballpark you should be ok.

500g Minced Beef
1Kg Chopped Tomatoes in juice200g Red Kidney Beans (in a tin)
150g Sweetcorn (in a tin)
Large onion
Fresh Chilli’s (3 or 4 to taste if available)
Tomato puree
Mild Chilli Powder
Olive oil


  1. Chop the onion and the chillies up into fairly fine pieces (keeping them separate)
  2. Drain the kidney beans and rince them off under cold water. I add the sweetcorn to the sieve after washing the beans and leave them to drain until needed.
  3. Fry the onion in a little olive oil, and once soft, add the mince and brown it, seasoning with the salt and pepper appropriately.
  4. Once the beef is pretty much browned I add the chillis and leave for a few minutes
  5. Once the chillis have had a little time to flavour the meat, I add the chopped tomatoes followed by the kidney beans and sweetcorn.
  6. Mix it all together, and then add a good squirt or spoon of tomato puree to ensure a good red colour throughout the mix.
  7. Once everything is well mixed, it’s time to add the chilli powder and mix again – and add a decent amount. I don’t actually measure it out – if I had to guess it’s probably a good couple of table spoons.  I usually add usually add it in two or 3 lots, mixing each time to ensure the seasoning is nicely spread through out the mix.
  8. Ditto the paprika, but use less than half the amount, maybe even as little as a third.
  9. Leave to simmer for at least an hour, stirring every so often.
  10. Keep an eye on the viscosity of the mixture – if it looks like it’s about right, cover the mix with a lid, if there is too much liquid leave the lid off, and if you need to add a touch of water try to do it well before the end – and then cover the dish if need be.
  11. Serve and enjoy!

That’s pretty much it. It’s a bit of a rough and ready procedure but it seems to turn out nice. It’s important to let it simmer for as long as you can – it could probably eaten after about 20 minutes, but I like to allow an hour to ensure the chilli has a chance to infuse into the mix properly.

Feel free to let me know what you think if you try it, and if you have any suggestions for changes 🙂

Threatening Letters

Apparently my flat has been targetted by the TV Licensing people for visits by ‘Enforcement Officers’. I know this from the three separate missives I found on the doormat when I picked up the mail yesterday.

The first was a small blue-ish envelope with “Important Information Enclosed” in big bold letters on the front. Inside it informed me that the address still had no TV licence and that it had been passed to the ‘Enforcement Division’ for investigation. Apparently it’s a criminal offence to watch or record TV without a TV Licence, so the (bold) heading at the top of the page says. The letter makes it clear if they visit my address and find evidence that I might be watching or recording TV programmes withough a licence I might be prosecuted and that they catch around 1,000 ‘evaders’ every day. Apparently I can end the investigation by buying a TV license, but if I don’t the leaflet has handy guidelines on what to expect if I’m summoned to a court hearing.

Helpful souls that they are, they wanted to be sure I got the message, and so the second letter comes with a big ‘Action Required’ statement on the envelope. The headline for this one is “Official Warning” and goes on to explain that they have now authorised Enforcement Officers to visit, and that if they find evidence that you are watching TV illegally they will take a statement under caution and that a visit is the first step in their action to seek prosecution. I consider myself to have been duely warned.

The final letter was hand delivered, with a jaunty ‘We said we’d call’ on the front, and inside it clearly hinted at how lucky I was not to have been caught out by their visit, and that I really should buy a licence to stop any risk of prosecution. I should in fact ‘get a licence before I get another knock at the door’.

You know what? I don’t think I’ll bother. I take great exception to the tone of the letters which are quite threatening, and clearly assume guilt rather than innocence. Seeing as they made it so difficult for me to obtain the refund I was entitled to when I moved out and stopped using a TV, I have no problem with them continually wasting money sending people round to catch me using a TV I don’t have in a property that no one is living in.