Monday, 16 November 2015

辣椒燉牛肉醬 Chilli Con Carne

在兒子 7 歲那年,他第一次被同學邀請參加「焰火之夜」的晚會,我們起初還有些猶豫,因為小孩子對火的好奇有時令人擔心。幸好隔天我便收到了邀請函,原來每個被邀請的孩子,爸媽也都同時被邀請參與。 

When our son was seven, he was invited to a Bonfire night party for the first time, hosted by one of his school friend’s parents at their house. We were initially somewhat hesitant as young children could get so excited by the fire, however it turned out that the whole family was invited too so we gladly went along. 

那是個頗為寒冷的十一月初晚上,我們一家大小從頭到腳,包得又厚又暖前去拜訪兒子的同學家。一進門,大家就先到廚房享用女主人準備的自助式晚餐,孩子們各抓了條熱狗,便嚷著要看營火了。同學家後方的大空地上,有個用木頭、破木板、樹枝枯葉、舊木箱等堆疊而成的營火堆 。 

It was a freezing cold November night; we all wrapped up warm from head to toe. When we arrived at the family‘s home, a delicious buffet prepared by the little boy’s mother warmly awaited us. The kids were too excited to eat; they all just grabbed a hot dog each, pleading with the adults to start up the bonfire as soon as possible. 



Some of the fathers joined in to help light up the pile built with logs, broken planks, tree branches and dried leaves, old wooden boxes etc. After a short while the fire began to burn brightly, the children were all holding their sparklers sat surrounding the bonfire, a safe distance away of course. 

Watching adults light up the fireworks, each one shooting up and screeching into the night sky like a rocket, with the spectacular shower of sparks accompanied by the sudden eruption of bangs, whistles and crackles; the fountain-like displays bursting charges of stars then descending back towards the ground. All the children with their little faces looked a bright rosy red from the fire’s reflection. 

自此,這些孩子們每年都會輪流舉行「焰火之夜晚會」。輪到我們家的時候,我喜歡煮一 鍋熱湯、做一大盤辣椒燉牛肉醬、一鍋白飯,還有莎莎醬佐烘玉米片、香腸漢堡、牧羊人派和糖薑蛋糕等。在陰冷灰黯的深秋裡,有這樣一個溫暖熱鬧的節日點綴,是多令人歡欣期待。 

說到焰火之夜,在英國已有 400 多年的歷史,它又被稱為「蓋伊福克斯之夜」(Guy Fawkes’s Night )。人們最初慶祝這節日是為了維護對其宗教與國家的忠誠與認同。在 1605年,羅馬天主教徒蓋伊福克斯 (Guy Fawkes) 及其同伙一共 16人,因不滿英國國王詹姆士一世的新教徒政策,準備在 11月 5 日企圖炸死國王,後來這個陰謀被揭發,國王倖免於難。當晚,受到驚嚇的人民點燃營火,感謝上帝保佑自己的國王。此後每年的這一 天,就有了「焰火之夜」的傳統。 


經過數百年時間的洗滌,現代的「焰火之夜」已沒人再把宗教與政治意念放在心上, 而是以一個歡樂的社區性或家庭式聚會,愉快地度過這一天。 

Ever since then, the children and their parents took turn each year to host a bonfire party. When it was our turn, I would prepare a big pan of soup; a huge pot of chilli con carne served with rice, corn chips and tomato salsa dips; roasted sausage sandwiches, shepherd’s pie and parkin cake. During the cold and grey autumn months, such a warm and colourful gathering has long been a highlight of the season. 

Guy Fawke's Night originates from the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, a failed conspiracy by a group of 16 provincial English Catholics to assassinate the Protestant King James I of England and replace him with a Catholic head of state. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempted murder, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot's failure. 

In England, children love bonfire night. In the past, they would make model ‘Guys’ and take their effigy from door to door or display it in the street, singing a familiar rhyme. Collecting money was a popular reason for their creation, but mainly, they were built to go on the bonfire, and they would use the money gathered to buy fireworks. 

After so many years, Guy Fawke's Night has become a domestic celebration; people either choose to attend public firework events or hold their own parties, often enjoying warm and delicious food whilst watching the displays, like the traditional parkin cake. Its lovely, moist, sticky and mild gingery flavour makes it one of the most perfect bonfire night foods.


( 6 – 8人份 )

材料  :
  • 瘦牛絞肉 500克 
  • 洋葱 2 粒
  • 紅蘿蔔 2 根
  • 番茄 3 粒
  • 小辣椒 2 支
  • 蒜頭 2 瓣 
  • 高湯 350ml ( 我用 1 塊 organic vegetable stock cube 加進滾水中溶解成高湯)
  • 辣椒粉 2 小匙
  • 肉桂粉 2 小匙
  • 小茴香粉 2 小匙
  • 紅腰豆罐頭 400g 1 罐瀝乾
  • 鷹嘴豆罐頭 400g 1 罐瀝乾
  • 碎番茄 400g 2 罐瀝乾
  • 番茄醬 (tomato purée) 2 大匙
  • 李派林黑醋醬汁 (Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce) 2 大匙
  • 紅糖 2 大匙
  • 義大利香醋 2 大匙
  • 香菜 (莞茜) 隨意
  • 海鹽和鮮磨黑胡椒適量 
  • 橄欖油 2 大匙

做法 :
  1. 鑄鐵鍋或砂鍋加熱倒入橄欖油,加入切丁的洋葱、蒜頭炒香,再下切小塊的紅蘿蔔和番茄炒軟;加入辣椒粉、肉桂粉、小茴香粉和一大撮海鹽和鮮磨黑胡椒,炒約 5 分鐘。
  2. 倒入紅腰豆、鷹嘴豆和碎番茄,加入牛絞肉,盡量用大木匙把肉末壓開成均勻小粒,再倒入高湯。
  3. 加入番茄醬、李派林黑醋醬汁、紅糖、香醋和適量海鹽和鮮磨黑椒拌勻,用大火煮滾後,加蓋轉小火燉 1 小時,不時翻動一下以免黏底。試味,吃時把香菜 (莞茜) 隨意灑上。

Chilli Con Carne

( serves 6 - 8 )

Ingredients :
  • 500g quality lean minced beef 
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 2 red chilli 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 organic vegetable stock cube
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 400g tinned red kidney beans drained
  • 400g tinned chickpeas drained
  • 2 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Small bunch fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Method :
  1. Place a large cast-iron or casserole pan on a medium high heat. Add olive oil and all of the chopped vegetables. Add the chilli powder, cumin and cinnamon with some salt and pepper. Stir -fry for around 5 minutes until softened and lightly coloured. 
  2. Add the chickpeas, kidney beans and the tinned tomatoes. Stir in the minced beef, use a wooden spoon to press and break up any big lumps, then place the stock cube in one of the empty tin and fill it up with boiling water and pour this into the pan. 
  3. Add the tomato purée, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and turn the heat down, cover and simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking onto the bottom of the pan. Season to taste, serve with leaves from the coriander.
          —  Excerpt from my first book “ Rice Bowl Tales ” p187 


  1. 我們這裡雖無焰火之夜,小孩子聚會卻喜歡烤S'mores, 每次看到幾個半大不小的好動男生揮舞鐵叉, 我便一陣緊張.
    這大半年來忙碌奔波, 少寫也少讀, 繞過來和Jane問好!

    1. Dear Miss LK,

      感恩節快樂!祝 Miss LK 一家愉快的歡渡美好佳節!