Carne Con Chilli

 From 'The Road to Mexico' by Rick Stein
Carne Con Chilli This is an authentic Mexican version of a dish you may be familiar with. The classic Chilli Con Carne made with beans and minced beef is more of a Tex Mex recipe; but this version is a more truly Mexican version.

  1. In a dry heavy-based frying pan, toast the guajillo chillies until fragrant but not burnt. Transfer them to a bowl and pour over 450ml just-boiled water. Leave them to soak for 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the same pan, dry fry the tomatoes and garlic until soft and charred. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then peel off and discard the garlic skins and quarter the tomatoes, skin and all.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of lard in a large flameproof casserole dish, and brown the cubes of beef all over. It’s best to do this in batches, adding another tablespoon of lard as needed. Transfer each batch of meat to a plate, then add the remaining lard to the pan and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  4. Add the cumin, oregano, allspice berries, and bay leaf. Cook for about 2 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  6. Put the soaked chillies and about 150ml of their soaking liquid in a blender and add the garlic, tomatoes, salt, and chipotles en adobo. Process until as smooth as possible, then tip into the casserole with the onions and add the browned beef. Stir in about 300ml of the chilli soaking water (Reserve the rest in case you need more later).
  7. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1½ to 2 hours until the beef is tender.
    1. Check the water a couple of times during cooking and make sure the meat doesn’t dry out. Add a little more water if necessary.
  8. While the meat is cooking, prepare the tortillas and a selection of toppings. Serve with warmed tortillas and the toppings.