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Friday
Nov152013

Pork Chilli Con Carne with Soft Tacos

This is a quick chilli that you can easily make midweek. I love the soft tacos here for moreish texture. The hot smoky paprika is the key ingredient, and great for many other dishes too. so try to find it in specialty stores. You can substitute with normal smoky paprika and chilli powder, but plain paprika doesn’t have the smokiness which really adds the unique flavour to this recipe.

Pictured: Pork Chilli Con Carne with Soft Tacos

3 rashers bacon, diced
1 whole dried chilli, preferably a Mexican habanero or chipotle
500g pork mince
1 leek, diced (or 1 brown onion)
3 tomatoes, roughly diced. or sub with a tin of cherry tomatoes if you can find them
2 – 3 roasted red peppers, roughly diced (I use straight from a jar or make your own-see below)
3 garlic, finely chopped
1 x 400g tin of kidney beans, drained and washed
1 tsp each ground coriander, ground cumin, ground oregano, 

1 tbsp hot smoked paprika (can sub smoked paprika plus ground chillies 2 -3 tsp each, as noted above)

Pinch turmeric (I like to add to dishes where it works for the health benefits)
To serve - shredded cabbage or lettuce, lime wedges, yoghurt or sour cream, soft tacos

In a large casserole pot – brown the bacon, also throw in the whole dried chilli to get the flavours started. After a few minutes add the mince and let brown. Stir and break up the mince with a spoon, while browning as much as possible before the liquid starts to come out.

Once the liquid begins add the rest of the ingredients and stir regularly to allow the flavours to mingle and the leek soften. It is a fairly dry mixture to serve in the tacos, not a sauce.

Options - I like to add a little spoon of chutney if I have it as well to add some extra sweetness and flavour, especially a good tomato chutney. I even add diced broccoli stalks that the kids don't eat. You can bulk it up more with an extra tin of beans, any you like, I like the black beans. I sometimes add more oregano or other spices depending on how fresh they are or strong – taste as you go. The real secret is the hot smoked paprika which adds the kick to the dish and a lovely smokiness to really punch up the flavour.

Wrap the soft tacos in foil and place in a moderate oven for 5 – 10 minutes to warm up.

To serve – either lay it out all ingredients on a platter for people to serve themselves, or wrap them in advance by squeezing lime juice over the mince, place a good scoop in the middle of each taco, layer cabbage and yoghurt on top, or lettuce and sour cream etc – could also add some sliced avocado or guacamole.

Serves 3 – 4 depending how hungry you all are!

To roast red capsicums/peppers – cut off each side of the capsicum into large pieces, slicing off the white membrane and seeds as you do. Brush with a little light olive oil, and lay them some foil on a tray under a hot grill to blacken. Once black, wrap up in the foil to sweat a little and cool down to handle – this allows them the skin to separate more easily for peeling. Once cool enough open up the foil and peel off the blackened skin – ready for use!