I decided to reopen the cookbook and keep learning last week, so I had a good go at Chilli. A few weeks ago I'd been to visit my sister in London and we'd made chilli for around 50-or-so people, so it had been in my mind to see what the Hairy Dieters Cookbook suggested for this.
On that occasion we'd cooked chilli using peppers, and I'd assumed that was a staple ingredient. The Hairy Dieters recipe doesn't even mention it. So I've got a few peppers left over that need demolishing somehow... this was, however, only the first of the setbacks.
I didn't buy garlic as I knew I already had some. When it came to cooking, I noticed the garlic was so old that the bulb had dried and was almost hollow inside. I also left minced beef off my shopping list for the same reason- then realised my mince had been in the freezer since around last November. I don't own any wine as I don't drink it, and for that reason buying a whole bottle seemed pretty pointless. I did, however, have plenty of vermouth from a previous recipe so I bunged some of that in instead.
With 15 minutes of cooking time left, I also realised I hadn't made the stock yet so I had to put everything on hold in order to make that up.
Added to this, the brown rice wasn't absorbing the water like I expected it to. I'd given it the required time, but it was still wet and hard at the time I'd planned it on being ready. The recipe suggested leaving the meat mixture to simmer for 45 MINUTES AFTER the initial cooking! I really need to read the recipe through before starting, but still.
I invited the parents around for tea. Mum and I agreed that 20 minutes simmering time was more than enough.
My mum reminded me that, in London, we'd only used peppers in the chilli because on the second day down there we merged a vegetarian chilli with a standard one. To memory, it had tasted fine.
But what about mine?
I think the meal would have benefited from fresher mince. It tasted okay, and the cooking of it was a little rushed and clumsy, but it went down well enough. It lasted me a few days as well.