My flatmate tells me that chilli isn’t comfort food. Pizza, and burgers, and all that is “bad” is comfort food. I beg to differ.
For as long as I can remember I’ve classed comfort food as food that just…warms you up. It’s easy to make, easy to eat, and makes you feel good inside. Back when I still occasionally ate red meat and we wanted a comforting meal, my family used to have a lot of cottage pies, chilli con carne, and Toulouse sausage and lentil casserole with homemade herb bread. Or, comfort food was something quick like beans on toast, or a toastie, or poached eggs on toast.
This week just gone I decided that I needed some comfort food. And specifically I wanted chilli. Not mixed bean chilli, chilli with mince in it- and so this was actually the first time I have ever used Quorn mince.
It worked beautifully. One massive bonus of using the Quorn mince was that it cooked much more quickly than regular mince. These quantities make a substantial batch too- enough to feed 5 people, or to stock up your freezer.
- 350g packet of Quorn mince
- 1 large onion
- 2 medium carrots
- 1 large bell pepper
- 2 large handfuls mushrooms
- 1 can chopped tomatoes + half a can of water
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 3tsp vegetable gravy granules
- 1 small pinch turmeric
- 1 large pinch Italian herbs, or just oregano
- 1/4 tsp each cinnamon and cumin
- 1/2-1tsp cayenne pepper (depending on spice preference. Even better: use half a hot red chilli)
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- Cooking spray
- First things first: dice the onion, carrots, pepper, and mushrooms- making them as small or as chunky as you like.
- Add the onion and garlic to a large pan with some cooking spray, and cook gently until golden.
- Add in the chopped veggies, and continue to cook for around 5 minutes, before adding all of the spices, and cooking for 3 or so minutes more.
- Throw in the tomatoes, stir, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and leave for 10 minutes.
- Just before the 10 minutes are up add in the Quorn, the beans, and the water. Cover and simmer again for around 10 minutes.
- Now comes the magic: the sauce will seem a little thin. Turn the heat up to medium, and throw in the gravy granules. Stir the chilli while it begins to bubble. As the heat rises the gravy granules will thicken the sauce and add more flavour. When you’re happy with the consistency, turn the heat off, and serve up…