bootblock's low carb chilli

Woah, a recipe, huh? Never done that before.

Yesterday I came up with something that allows me to use minced meat without throwing in a tin of carby tomatoes. I'm glad it worked otherwise I wouldn't have a clue what to do with the cheap mince I can buy. While it's not carb-free, it still pretty low.

My carb intake is typically 2-5g per day, and I plan on sometimes eating this (using malt or cider vinegar instead of balsamic as balsamic is carby!), so, yeah, I'm pretty strict. This won't even come close to messing your efforts up. That is, unless any of the ingredients cause you problems - if so, omit them.

Updated: Added fennel and chives. Removed celery salt, paprika, and sage (to simplify). Modified quantities.

When I make food, I like to experiment. This is the second ever time I've actually created a recipe as I tend to throw things in until something happens. On the basis of that, feel free to add things such as mushrooms and the like. Try not to remove any spices that aren't marked as optional as they make the flavour of this particular dish.

Ingredients

Utensils

Before we start, I should make it clear that the ingredients above are approximations as my digital scale only measures in increments of 1g. I more-or-less guessed how much each spice weighed when the scale's value didn't budge. Because of this, put in more/less of each ingredient as you see fit - it's entirely down to you. Well, you're the one eating it, aren't you?

Preperation

Pre-heat your frying pan until it's very hot, or smoking if you're using a cast iron pan (because that's the way I roll), and place the mince into the pan. Break it up using a spatula, taking care not to press down on the mince to do the breaking otherwise it may stick to the pan if it's not non-stick. While that cooks until golden brown...

Prepare your beef stock. I personally place 100ml of hot water into a mug/cup and then crush and sprinkle an Oxo cube into it and mix together until fully dissolved. You ideally want the stock to be quite strong.

Once the mince is cooked (doesn't have to be all way as it'll continue cooking in the sauce pan), transfer it to your pre-heated sauce pan. You could instead continue cooking in the frying pan until it becomes slightly crunchy before transferring it, if you'd prefer.

Add the vinegar, and then everything else to the sauce pan except for the cream, sour cream, cheese, and the sweeteners. Cayenne pepper is entirely optional; use it to add further heat to the dish - I personally skip it. Thoroughly mix it all together. Add salt to taste.

The quantity of butter is down to you. You could alternatively use coconut oil if you're a fan of British-Indian curries.

The aim is to cook it until almost all of the water has been removed (typically known as reducing), thus greatly increasing the flavour as the water won't be present to dilute it. That, and wet food just annoys me.

Remember to stir/mix while it cooks.

When a lot of the water has gone, add your sweeteners. As this is low carb, I now add some Splenda (noting that the granulated/powered form uses maltodextrin as a bulker, and consequently isn't carb/sugar free) and drops of liquid Stevia (available from eBay if you're in the UK). If you're not doing low carb, add standard sugar - maybe brown sugar/black-strap molasses is worth a try. Add sweetener/sugar so it balances out the spiciness and heat present. With all hot(ish) & sweet dishes, this is vitally important.

Once the liquid at the bottom of the sauce pan looks thick/viscus, the water has mostly gone as you're left with flavour-infused fat. Turn the heat off and add the double/heavy cream and mix in until the colour lightens. Add the grated cheese on-top, adding as much as you prefer. I personally coat the top as cheese has scientifically proven to be awesome.

If the cream cooled down the meat too much, you can then place it under the grill/broiler until it has melted and has a nice golden colour.

I've never done this as I don't really buy it, but you can place a blob of sour cream on-top which should provide a nice cooling contrast to the spiciness of the meat.

What you do next is entirely up to you. Take your pick of these two choices below.

  1. Eat it as-is, sacrificing a lot of flavour so it can be eaten hot.
  2. Place it in the fridge and eat when it's completely cold and the fat has entirely solidified.

I personally go for 2 as the flavour is much, much more intense. As this makes the fat solid, you don't end up leaving any floating around the bottom of the sauce pan, so it isn't wasted. Washing up is also quicker.

An additional thing in option 2's favour is that I've found it has a Chinese "taste" to it. Even without the Chinese 5 Spice, it will taste like, say, a Chinese sandwich filler, if you're in the UK and you've ever had that. I have, and I loved it, but it's a carby, sugary hell.

Anyway. That's my low carb "chilli", and I like it.

Posted: 2011-07-04 at 11:52:20,