Simple Eats: “Mediterranean”-style Chili

6 Nov

ICA has a line of i (heart) eco products

The hardest part about grocery shopping in a foreign country, where you don’t speak the language, is understanding what it is that you are buying.   Organic items are usually easy to spot — Bio or Eco normally indicate organic products in Europe (biologique or ecologique).  In Sweden, too, you see a variety of “Eco” or “Eko” products (Ekologiskt).  Recently, I learned that there is another label for organic products established specifically in Sweden — KRAV.  Useful information to have, as I don’t think I would have figured this out on my own.  After reading various expat internet forums on buying groceries in Stockholm, it seems that organic meats and produce in supermarkets are a relatively new thing here, and that quality varies greatly from one supermarket to another, even within the same chain.  We visited the ICA in the NK the other day, where we picked up some nice looking, KRAV ground beef.

Ground beef — or mix of beef and pork, as often is the case in Europe — is a useful item to have in the fridge for a quick, protein-rich meal.  At home, when David needs to load up on protein, or we want a quick lunch, I make what seems like a cross between a bolognese (sans pasta) and a chili.

I dice some onions and carrots, mince a couple of cloves of garlic, and finely chop a whole jalapeño pepper, deseeded.  In a heated pan, I drizzle some olive oil and sauté the vegetables until tender, on medium-high heat.

When the vegetables are tender, I turn down the heat to about medium.  I add a pack of mince meat (like the photo above) into the pan, and with a spatula, I break up the meat and combine it with the vegetables.

When the meat is mostly cooked, I add a can of organic tomato sauce (no sugar added, chunky tomatoes, not whole).  Stir the pan.  When the sauce simmers, add a handful of capers.

And, here is my version of something between a bolognese and a chili — I call it “Mediterranean” style chili because of the capers.   It’s hearty and tasty, and great for the winter!

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