I was all set to post a VERY different recipe today – an ethereal romantic cake. But when I imported my photos to Blogger they looked lifeless, grey and dull. The very same photos looked absolutely fine on WordPress platform which is one of the reasons why I am in the process of transferring Supergolden Bakes over to WordPress. I didn’t realise how much work I was going to have to do to transfer the site – all the images need to be resized, recipes input to a recipe plug in etc. etc. I hope I will stop procrastinating and GET ON WITH IT. The all caps are just for me, by the way. I need a kick up the backside, for sure.
So instead of cake what we have is a very hearty recipe instead – Beef Chili with Cornbread Dumplings. This is the kind of recipe that I have made so many times that I swear you can wake me in the middle of the night, blindfold me and lead me to the kitchen and an hour later we would be eating chili. Such recipes are crowd pleasing family favourites for a very good reason… Easy to make, economical, freezer-friendly and kid-approved. I usually make a large batch and freeze the chili (not the dumplings though) in silicone muffin trays to use whenever there’s a dinner emergency.
You can customise your chili however you like – this is a fairly mild version so as not to alienate the kids. If you like heat then add more spices and some chopped chilli peppers. If you want to sneak in some vegetables to make the meal go further, butternut squash cooks down so that it thickens the chili without taking over. The dumplings are fluffy and great for mopping up the food – but you can skip them and make some proper cornbread instead.
Beef Chili with Cornbread Dumplings
1 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 red & 1 orange (or green) bell pepper, finely diced
800g | 1 1/2 pounds minced beef
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dried oregano
1x400g | 14oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2x400g | 14oz cans chopped tomatoes in juice
3 tbsp tomato paste
250ml | 1 cup beef stock
250ml | 1 cup water
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
Salt and pepper
200g | 7oz self-raising flour
70g | 2.5oz cornmeal (polenta)
70g | 2.5oz coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
150ml | 5fl oz cup whole milk or buttermilk (more if needed)
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and cook the vegetables, oregano, spices and ground beef, stirring until the meat is well browned.
2. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, water and sugar and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.
4. Meanwhile make the cornbread dumplings by combining the flour, cornmeal, cheese and salt in a bowl. Mix the milk with beaten egg and stir them in. If the batter is too dry add a little more milk a tablespoon at a time.
5. Use wet hands to roll the dumplings and place on top of the chili. Cover the pot and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
6. Serve with grated cheese, avocado and sour cream or with rice. Freeze the chili, in portions, for up to three months.
A little update on how I am getting on with my healthy eating on day 8… I have been fairly good about having healthy breakfasts and meals although I did have some of the cake I baked yesterday! I am also doing daily exercise, albeit in pretty small doses… This Pop Physique DVD is kicking my butt big time! No alcohol apart from one sneaky skinny G&T and I do miss sweet treats so I have been experimenting with raw brownies (totally delicious) and Vitamix sorbets.