Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne
Chilli Con Carne is a very versatile meal.  We enjoy it as a dish on its own with rice and green salad, or on corn chips as Nachos, or even in Tacos. The leftovers are also good on pizza, or as a pie filling.
It can be made ahead and reheated, and the leftovers can be frozen to use another day.

This version has the addition of a small amount of chocolate, sounds strange but it works! It adds a little sweetness to the dish that seems to make the cinnamon flavour pop, and gives a bit of extra richness to the flavour. Make sure you use dark chocolate.

Add chilli to your own taste, you can bump the heat up by adding extra chilli, or include some seeds if you like your taste buds burning! Fresh chillies are great but if you don’t have any, use powder. I would substitute 1 tsp of powder for 2 fresh (de-seeded) chillies. I also keep dried crushed chilli in my pantry, which is better than powder (but MUCH hotter, so use sparingly).

Serve with sour cream and guacamole (you can find my recipe here)

If you would like to prepare this ahead use your slow cooker. Chop the onions and chillies,  add everything to the slow cooker (except the kidney beans), give it a good stir and cook on low for 6-8 hours (depending on your cooker). Add the beans towards the end of the cooking time.

Chilli Con Carne
 
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Recipe type: Red Meat
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 fresh chillies, de-seeded
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 425g can chopped tomatoes
  • 25g tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 squares of dark chocolate
  • 440g red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley
Method
  1. Add onions, and chilli to mixer bowl and chop speed 7, 7 seconds.
  2. Add oil and saute 100 degrees, 2 minutes, speed 1.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients except beans and parsley and cook at 100 degrees, 15 minutes, reverse speed soft.
  4. Add kidney beans and parsley and cook for a further 5 minutes, 100 degrees, reverse, speed soft.
  5. Serve with grated cheese, guacomole and sour cream.
Notes
Serve with grated cheese, guacomole and sour cream.

 

 

Egg and Bacon Pie

Egg and Bacon Pie
Egg and Bacon pie is a bit of an old fashioned favourite. It is a good dish to prepare when you have a lot of eggs to use all at once.  We have our own chooks and at certain times of the year we end up with as many as 6 eggs a day – this pie gets added to our menu when the egg basket starts to overflow.

It is pretty simple fare but it ticks all the boxes for a weekday meal in my house. Five out of five family members eat it without complaint, it does not take long to prepare, the leftovers taste good, and it is pretty easy on the budget too (particularly if your hens have supplied the eggs!).

We have a really large and deep pie dish, and I have based my ingredients on the quantities that fill our dish. But adjust to suit the dish you are using, obviously a smaller pie dish will require less eggs to fill it. For reference our dish measures 30cm (12 inches) in diameter.

Enjoy either warm or cold with salad and tomato relish, and leftovers are good for an easy lunch the next day.

Egg & Bacon Pie
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Red Meat
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
Pastry
  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g butter, chilled, in cubes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 50g cold water
Filling
  • 12 eggs
  • 6 rashers bacon (fat and rind trimmed off)
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Small bunch of chives, chopped finely
  • Salt & Pepper to season
  • 2 tsp oil for frying bacon
Method
Pastry
  1. Add all pastry ingredients to the mixer bowl and process speed 4, for 20 seconds.
  2. Tip onto a silicone mat or lightly floured surface and work the pastry into a ball with your hands.
  3. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes until needed.
Pie
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Roll the pasty out with a rolling pin, gently press into your pie dish and prick the base with a fork.
  3. Cover the pastry with baking paper and fill with pie weights or uncooked rice and blind bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and paper and place back into the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes.
  4. While the pastry is blind baking heat a fry pan and add 2 tsp of oil. Fry chopped bacon for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with baking paper to drain.
  5. Once pie crust is ready fill the pie. Start with a layer of bacon (use half the bacon), then crack eggs carefully one by one into the pie, until the base is almost full. Then sprinkle herbs over the top of the eggs and top with remaining bacon pieces.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. If you have pastry leftover you can add strips to the top of the pie to make a lattice effect.
  8. Place back in the oven to cook for a further 50-60 minutes until the eggs are set. This can vary depending on how many eggs you have used, so watch and judge for yourself.
Notes
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your dish and the number of eggs you have have used.
Let stand for 10-15 minutes after removing from the oven before slicing. This makes it easier to cut.
Be careful not to split the yolks of the eggs when you crack them into the pie. You can crack them onto a saucer first and then slide off the saucer into the pie to make it easier.

We make this pie when we have lots of eggs to use up. We have our own chooks and at certain times of the year we end up with as many as 6 eggs a day. Luckily we all like eating eggs!

This is really simple to make, and great enjoyed either warm or cold with salad. We have a really large and deep pie dish, and I have based my ingredients on the quantities that fill our dish. But adjust to suit the dish you are using, obviously a smaller pie dish will require less eggs to fill it. For reference our dish measures

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu (Bolognaise)

Beef RaguBeef ragu or Bolognaise sauce is one of the most versatile recipes to have up your sleeve when you are cooking for a family. It can be used in many ways and freezes well once cooked.
This is not really a ‘recipe’ – more a how-to. Each time I make this I vary it a little depending on what ingredients I have on hand.

I like quite a runny meat sauce (ragu) to make spaghetti bolognaise, and I prefer to cook it this way rather than in my Thermomix. I do use the Thermo at times, when I am in a hurry or have not had time to prepare this in advance. But this is how I prefer to cook it. It takes very little time to get prepared and then you just set and forget until dinner time. Which is really fantastic on nights when I am walking in the door late. I use about 700g of mince, and get two meals out of this dish. We eat one straight away with spaghetti, for bolognaise. And then I add some extra ingredients and freeze the leftovers for a second meal (which is usually cottage pie).

Start with 700g beef mince, two tins of tomatoes, some tomato paste,  an onion, some garlic and whatever vegetables you would like to include. I like to use carrots, celery and zucchini.
Put the mince into the slow cooker.
Peel and chop vegetables into chunks and add them all to the Thermomix bowl (include the onion and garlic).  Turbo pulse a few times to chop them up. I like them chopped quite fine, but you can leave them chunkier if you prefer. If you don’t have a Thermal cooker just chop by hand, use a food processor or grate.
Tip all the vegetables into the slow cooker with the meat, add the two tins of tomatoes, a large dollop of tomato paste (2 Tbsp) a splash of balsamic vinegar, a tsp of sugar, a generous glug of red wine, salt and pepper to taste and herbs of choice (include a bay leaf if you have one). Use fresh or dried herbs, whatever you have. Remember this is not an exact recipe, add flavours that you enjoy.
Use a wooden spoon to give everything a good mix through.

Set your slow cooker to low and leave it to cook for 7-8 hours. Stir a couple of times during cooking time (if you are home and near the slow cooker!)

Once cooked, remove half the ragu to serve over pasta for spaghetti bolognaise. Leave the remaining half in the slow cooker and stir through one tin of rinsed and drained chick peas, and about half a cup each of frozen peas and frozen corn. Let it sit for 10 minutes (but don’t turn the cooker back on). Remove and store in a freezer friendly container to use as cottage pie filling another day. When you are ready to make pie just defrost the meat filling, place into an oven safe casserole dish, cook and mash some potatoes to put on top, sprinkle a little grated cheese over and heat in a 180 degree oven until the the centre of the pie is piping hot.

Easy peasy! I don’t worry about browning the mince before I put it in the slow cooker. I am all for quick and easy. But feel free to brown it first in a fry pan if you like. This will make quite a runny meat sauce, if you prefer it thicker use just one can of tomatoes instead of two.

Honey Soy Meatballs

HoneySoyMeatballsI was inspired to create this recipe when I was having one of those evenings when I was home after work for a brief window, then had to go out for kids sports training, and knew I would be back late. You know those evenings? We have them quite often here 😉 This fits the criteria of being able to be mostly prepared early and then just put in the oven when you walk in the door late.

And it tastes so good. A complete hit with the discerning taste testers in the house of Chaos. If preparing in advance, make the sauce and put in the fridge, then make meatballs, shape and place in the dish and pop in the fridge too. When you are ready to cook just put the balls in the oven, and add the sauce with ten minutes to go. You might just need to heat the sauce slightly in the microwave or back in the Thermomix, so it pours easily.

We have this with rice, and salad or vegetables. I like to use chicken mince for this, but you could use beef mince too.

Honey Soy Meatballs
 
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Recipe type: Chicken & Pork
Serves: 5
Ingredients
Sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 90g honey
  • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
Meatballs
  • 500g mince (I like to use chicken mince for this, but you can use beef also)
  • 1 egg
  • 40g (1/2 cup) breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion
  • 50g milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Sesame seeds - optional
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Sauce
  1. Peel garlic and place into Tmx bowl, chop speed speed 7, 2-3 seconds.
  2. Add all other sauce ingredients and cook Varoma temperature, speed 1-2, 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the sauce from the bowl and set aside. Don't clean the bowl.
Meatballs
  1. Add onion to Tmx bowl and chop speed 5, 5 seconds.
  2. Add all other ingredients and combine reverse speed 3-4, 20 seconds.
  3. Shape into walnut sized balls and place into a greased casserole dish.
  4. Cook meatballs for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven, pour the sauce over the meatballs (and sprinkle with sesame seeds - optional) then place back into the oven to cook for a further 10 minutes.
Notes
I like the texture of chicken mince in these meatballs, but it is a lot sloppier to work with when trying to shape balls. I sort of 'plop' the spoons of meat mix into the dish and shape roughly. Beef mince is a lot firmer and will roll better.

 

Steak Rub

SteakRubWe have had a few warm days here over the last couple of weeks, so the BBQ has had a dust off and been woken up from it’s winter hibernation. Cooking on the BBQ in summer makes dinner planning very easy, some meat and a salad or two and dinner is done! Sometimes it is nice to add a bit of extra flavour to the meat though. This steak rub is a good way to do just that. It takes next to no time to prepare in the Thermomix, and this quantity makes enough to spread over two adult sized pieces of meat. Just double or triple the quantities if you have more meat, or would like to spread it thicker. When it cooks it makes a nice crust on the meat, just be careful when turning it over that you don’t leave all the rub on the BBQ plate! We had this last week with some home made flour tortillas (recipe here) and a yummy salsa. It tasted like summer :)

 

Steak Rub
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Red Meat
Serves: 2 steaks
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp rock salt
  • ½ Tbsp peppercorns
  • 1 red chilli
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 Tbsp dried Italian herbs (or a mixture of thyme & oregano)
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 slice bread
  • Olive oil as required
Method
  1. Place rock salt, peppercorns and chilli into Tmx bowl and chop seconds, speed 10.
  2. Add onion, garlic, herbs, cumin seeds and mix 4 seconds, speed 10.
  3. Add the slice of bread and mix for a further 8 seconds, speed 5. During this step also drizzle oil in to the mixture to bind it into a paste. Add a bit, then stop, check and add more if needed.
  4. Smear the rub over your steak and wrap tightly in cling film and let rest for half an hour and then BBQ or pan fry.

 

Mexi Bake

MexiBakeMy husband does not normally eat anything with ‘bake’ in the recipe title, but he does eat this – and enjoys it! The original of this recipe was given to me by a friend a long time ago – it has been made many times since but I only recently converted it to the Thermomix. Most of the cooking is done in the Thermomix and then the dish is then assembled and finished in the oven. So if you are feeling super organised you can make this one ahead and then pop it in the fridge to bake later.

Mexi Bake
 
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Recipe type: Red Meat
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 420g tin four bean mix
  • 100g sliced mushrooms
  • 1 420g tin corn kernels
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 200g rice
  • 900g water
  • 600g sour cream
  • Grated cheese to top
Method
  1. Grease a large baking dish or casserole dish.
  2. Chop the onion into quarters and place into Tmx with garlic and chop speed 5, 5 seconds.
  3. Scrape out and place into top tray of Varoma with chopped capsicum, drained beans and corn.
  4. Measure, weigh and wash rice, then fill bowl with 900g water and place steaming basket with rice into the bowl.
  5. Put mince into the lower tray of the Varoma and sprinkle the herbs and spices over the top (break mince up into small chunks), then place top tray with vegetables on and set the Thermomix to cook Varoma temp, 16 minutes, speed 4. You will have the Thermomix stacked in this order for cooking: Water in bowl, rice in steaming basket, mince in Varoma basket, vegetables in Varoma tray.
  6. At the end of the cooking time check the mince to ensure it is cooked through. If it needs further cooking time remove the rice and top tray of Varoma and reset the cooking time for a further 5 minutes or until done.
  7. Once cooked tip the water out of the bowl and place the mince, vegetable mix, tinned tomatoes, and chopped mushrooms in, combine reverse speed soft, 10 seconds until mixed through. Use your spatula to help break the mince up if you need to.
  8. Assemble the dish by spreading a layer of rice, then a layer of the meat/vegetable/tomato mix, then a layer of sour cream on the top. Sprinkle with grated cheese to finish and bake 15-20 minutes in a moderate oven.
  9. I serve this with a green salad.

 

Varoma Meatballs

VaromaMeatballs copyQuick, easy, and a hit with the kids. Great for busy weeknights.  You can ‘hide’ quite a lot of vegetables in this recipe, either by adding more to the meat mixture or to the tomato sauce mix. Just be careful that the meat mix does not become too sloppy. If you have really fussy eaters then blend the tomato sauce before serving to remove any lumpy evidence of vegetable matter – they will never know 😉

Varoma Meatballs
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Red Meat
Serves: 5
Ingredients
MEATBALLS
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 large carrot
  • ½ zucchini
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 100g fresh mushrooms
  • 50g bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • Mixed herbs (or fresh parsley or basil if you have some available)
SAUCE
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion
  • 20 g olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable stock concentrate
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 10ml balsamic vinegar
  • 2 x tins diced tomatoes
  • Small handful basil leaves and oregano (fresh or dried)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
TO SERVE
  • Spaghetti to serve (cooked separately on stove)
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
Method
  1. Before starting - grate your desired amount of Parmesan cheese in the bowl (speed 8, 10 seconds) and set aside
MEATBALLS
  1. Place all vegetables and herbs into Tmx bowl and chop speed 6, 5 seconds.
  2. Scrape sides of the bowl down and add bread crumbs, egg and mince and turbo pulse a few times until mixture is combined.
  3. Shape the mixture into small meatballs and place into varoma (you will need to use both trays) I prefer to line the trays with baking paper to make clean up easier! Crumple the paper, and wet it then flatten back out and lay in the tray.
SAUCE
  1. Clean the bowl and place onion, garlic and herbs into it. Chop speed 6, 5 seconds.
  2. Add olive oil and saute for 3 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 1.
  3. Add remaining sauce ingredients and combine 5 seconds, speed 5.
  4. Place varoma on top of the closed lid and cook Varoma temperature, speed 2, 20 minutes.
  5. While the sauce and meatballs are cooking cook the spaghetti on the stove top.
  6. After 20 minutes check one of the meatballs to ensure they are cooked through (cook slightly longer if needed) Serve on top of spaghetti with sauce poured over the top.
Notes
When cooked this way on baking paper the meatballs will look juicy (or be sitting in juice) as they steam. Don’t worry - this is normal! The texture of these meatballs is also softer than if fried or baked, but they are really delicious.

 

San Choy Bau

SanChoyBau copy

San Choy Bau
 
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Recipe type: Chicken & Pork
Serves: 4 adults
Ingredients
  • 500g mince (pork or chicken is best but we sometimes use beef)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2cm piece of ginger
  • 50g (1/4 cup) peanuts
  • 2 celery stalks
  • Can water chestnuts. Drained (the ones I buy are 227g)
  • 1 Iceberg lettuce
  • 30g oyster sauce
  • 15g soy sauce
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into chunks
  • 100g mushrooms roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
Method
  1. Place the peanuts in the Thermomix bowl and dry roast, Varoma, 5 minutes, Spoon Soft. Once cooked chop 3-5 seconds, speed 7. Place to one side.
  2. While the peanuts are cooking break the lettuce into leaves, wash, pat dry and put in the fridge.
  3. Place carrots, celery and water chestnuts into bowl and chop 3-5 seconds, speed 7. Remove from bowl and set aside. Don’t overprocess them - they need to be a bit chunky. NOTE: If you prefer your water chestnuts as larger pieces leave them out of this step and chop roughly by hand to add in later.
  4. Put onion, garlic and ginger into bowl (no need to rinse in between) and chop 7 seconds, speed 7. After chopping sauté with olive oil at 100 degrees, 2 minutes, Reverse, Spoon Soft.
  5. Add mince to onion mix and cook Varoma, 10 minutes, Reverse, Spoon Soft.
  6. Add sauces and carrot/celery mix. Cook Varoma, 5 minutes, Reverse, Spoon Soft.
  7. Add sesame oil, bean shoots and mushrooms (and water chestnuts if you omitted them at step 3) cook Varoma, 3 minutes, Reverse, Spoon Soft.

 

 

Impossible Pie

Impossible PieMy husband’s grandmother cooked this for lunch the very first time I met her (a long time ago!) She wrote the recipe out for me and I have been cooking it ever since. In my recipe folder it is titled ‘Nan’s Impossible Pie’, so I think of her when I make it.
When I got my Thermomix I converted the recipe. It is a very simple and quick kid-friendly dish that can be in the oven in less than 5 minutes. Great for lunch or a an easy dinner served with baked potatoes and salad. It can be made with or without bacon for a vegetarian option. Substitute the bacon with asparagus (fresh or from a tin), corn, or mushrooms.

Impossible Pie
 
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Recipe type: Meat Free Meals, Quiche
Serves: 8 slices
Ingredients
  • 100g cheese
  • 1 small onion (in half)
  • 100-150g bacon (to your taste)
  • 3 eggs
  • 15g butter
  • 300g milk
  • 90g plain flour
Method
  1. Chop cheese into rough cubes and place in Thermomix bowl. Grate 5 seconds, speed 8. Place aside
  2. Put onion and bacon into bowl and chop 2-3 seconds, speed 7. NOTE: If you prefer your bacon in larger chunks cut it by hand and add at the end to stir through.
  3. Add eggs, butter, milk, cheese and flour and mix reverse speed 4-5, 25 seconds.
  4. Pour mixture into a greased 20cm quiche dish (place sliced tomato on the top if you like) and cook at 180 degrees for approx 45 minutes or until slightly puffed and golden on the top.