New Mexican con carne on a baked potato
- 3 New Mexican chillies, whole, stem removed, deseeded and split in half
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 500g beef mince
- 1 large onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
- ½ teaspoon paprika, ground
- ¼ teaspoon chilli, ground (optional)
- 1 teaspoon oregano, dried
- 2 garlic cloves, minced on microplane, or crushed
- 1 x 400g can tomatoes, whole and peeled – lightly strain and roughly chop into a chunky dice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup carrot, peeled and grated
- 1½ cup zucchini, grated
- 1 400g can kidney beans or black beans, strained
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- 1 small container natural yoghurt
- 4 medium baking potatoes
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Give your potatoes a quick scrub to remove excess dirt then wrap in foil so they are tightly covered. Put in the oven on a rack and cook for 40-50 minutes or until done.
Potatoes are done when you stick a knife in the middle and it goes through and pulls out with ease. To keep them warm, leave in the oven and drop the temperature to 150 degrees C.
On low heat, warm a medium frying pan without oil. Add split chillies and heat until aroma is released and they start to bubble slightly – you can squash them with a spatula for even blistering. This should take about 5 minutes.
Once removed from the heat and cooled, slice very finely or grind in a spice grinder. You should have about 2 heaped tablespoons. Keep to one side.
Heat a large frying pan with oil until very hot. Add beef and brown, breaking the meat apart with a wooden spoon to separate.
Once the meat has browned and the liquid has evaporated, add onion, spices and oregano, then stir until well combined.
Add diced tomatoes, garlic, salt and grated vegetables. Stir until well combined then turn down the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Five minutes before serving, add the beans to the meat mixture and warm through, check seasoning then serve on a baked potato with lashings of sour cream and grated cheese.
- If you can, make a double batch and freeze half.
- If you have small kids then share one potato between two. Once cooked, cut it in half, and use a half for each child.
- This is a wonderful mince for tacos or on top of corn chips. Due to the lack of heat, adults might like to add pickled jalapenos, or if you have some of the jalapeno salsa in the fridge, pop it on top.
- I use natural yoghurt as a healthy option to sour cream – it works really well and I find the kids like the creamy texture mixed with the mince and potato, which is perfect for beginner eaters.
- When you are cutting your potato, put a cross on the top with a sharp knife and using your fingers, push the sides into the middle causing the center of the potato to pop out. I like to add some yoghurt to the potato first to make it a little moist before adding the meat sauce on top.