Minced beef, plum tomatoes and red kidney beans with authentic Mexican seasoning.
Chilli Con Carne is long-time favourite for many. It's a versatile dish, perfect for a meal in a hurry anywhere. We use only the finest quality minced beef steak in our chilli con carne. This is simmered gently with choice plum tomatoes and tasty Mexican seasoning.
Kaweka's Chilli Con Carne contains extra large and juicy red kidney beans which give it great character. It isn't lip-searingly spicy, either -this is a "mild" heat dish which means you can taste the spiciness, but you won't get the 'bite' of hot chilli. Our offspring love it so we can safely say other children who like this kind of cuisine will enjoy it too!
Like all Kaweka meals, our Chilli Con Carne contains no additives, preservatives, artificial colours or flavours. It's low in carbohydrates, low in fat (just 3.7%) and we use only tender NZ beef.
Now this is what I call a Chilli Con Carne, it has just the perfect amount of chilli and spices to make it a real belly warmer, without it turning your mouth into a replica of Mt St Helens, or Mt Vesuvius, (although personally this is not a bad thing sometimes ) ,however most of the time I just want a nice warming curry/chilli and this is one of those.
The nice tender meat and the selection of seasonings make this one of my favourite dishes from the Kaweka range and I will certainly be buying more of these in the future (especially as the rest of the family doesn't like spicy dishes )
I heated this up for lunch in a bowl and ate with corn chips, nacho style. I was impressed with the look and texture of the product - thick - not watery at all, lots of kidney beans, definitely looked homemade and authentic.
The taste to me not particularly to my own personal liking however, I found it to be a little bitter and lacking in salt. There was a definitely spicyness to it, but not too hot. I think it would have been a lot better if I had some cheese and sour cream on hand.
This product could be as versatile as your imagination... I could imagine adding pasta and vegetables, or turning it into a shepherds pie.
If you are looking for something ultra-yum that you can make in minutes if unexpected company drops in around mealtime, then make sure you have a packet of this in your cupboard. With a bag of cornchips and some cheese, this packet becomes something wonderful... the Quality Instant Nachos. What self-respecting Poker Night couldn't stand the addition of a seriously tasty plate of nachos?! It took less than 10 minutes to whip up some serious nachos that had everyone so hooked, we had to put the poker game on hold. It took longer to eat them than it did to make them! A few days later I tried making this as the filling for some beef Cannelloni. Because it's going to be baked in the oven for a while, you don't even need to heat the Chilli up, saving you a good 15 minutes of prep time. Just empty the sachet into a bowl with a handful of grated or crumbled cheese of choice, mix well and stuff into the pasta tubes. Cook as normal. It was delightfully tangy without being abusive to the tastebuds. For those who like a bit of extra heat, add in some sweet chilli before stuffing the tubes. Another goodie Kaweka.
I had been given only two rules... rule 1 - taste all the flavours, rule 2 - experiment.
I tasted the Chilli Con Carne by itself so that I could get a good idea of what it tasted like before I got enthusiastic about playing around with the flavours. Honestly? It was pretty good. Not mind blowing, but certainly better than most other types of pre-made chilli. It was reasonably rich, meaty and with a lovely tomato-ey flavour as well has having a nice subtle blend of spices. It was nice and thick without being overly chunky, and it had a little spicy burn, not crazy hot but perhaps not for small children, or those with similar taste buds.
Probably the only (very minor) gripes I had were that it could have been a little richer and a little saltier. Admittedly I am a bit fussy about saltiness, this may not be the case with others - not recommending a change but rather making others aware. Funnily enough after checking the nutritional table on the back of the packet it's actually a little high in sodium. Not sure where the taste went. The table also shows that it is high in protein which is good, and has excellent low levels of fat, particularly saturated fat for those of you watching your cholesterol.
As far as richness goes, I have found that adding a little cocoa powder makes all the difference. Enhances the flavours quite a lot without altering the underlying taste you are aiming at.
I didn't have any trouble with the packaging as I used the stove-top rather than the microwave.
Whilst I would normally make my own Chilli con carne, this would be a great idea for lunches or just to have in the cupboard for those nights you are in a hurry or just don't want to cook. We all have those.
Rule 2... experimenting!
Since there were three of us and only one of each flavour (which serves 1 - 2), I decided a little mixing it up wouldn't go astray. So I got one pouch of Chilli con carne, and one pouch of Italian-style bolognaise, mixed the two together in a pan adding to the bacon I had already sauteed, added a few secret ingredients and served the lot over spiral pasta with a sprinkle of Edam on top. It was a hit! The hubby said we "absolutely need more of these so we can properly review them *wink, nudge*" and the best part? the Ten-year old boy seal of approval! Not only did he ask for more, he said it was delicious!
Chilli Con Carne would have to be my second favourite beef mince dishes, right after any decent variety of Spag Bol, but again, there are lots of dishes that claim the 'Chilli Con Carne' name, some far more deserving than others. The delicate balance of beans, mince, tomato and spices is precarious at best. Messing with it too much can be a disaster in the making,
Though I have tasted better, I would be remiss if I didn't also say that this is by far the best pre-made off-the-shelf variety I have tasted. The sheer logistics of cooking such a dish in the huge volumes required for such a retail distribution makes the extremely high quality even more impressive.
It's so easy to do as well, slap it in the microwave for 2 mins +/-, and while it nukes, grab a bowl, throw in a ring of corn chips, sprinkle liberally with grated cheese, -ding- and let it sit for a minute while you deal with a beverage, pour it into the bowl of chips, and you're off with a 4 minute nacho. Sour cream optional of course.
I can also see a tasty dish with rice as a base, and perhaps even with spiral pasta too. I can also see this making an excellent pie-maker filling with grated cheese. This can also be turned into a tangy savoury mince, with the addition of a cup or two of cooked mixed veges.
Overall, a stunning surprise in a market of mediocre competitiors. Though it's not the cheapest variety on the shelves, it's quality and taste make it well worth the extra cost. Great for those impulsive social gatherings or poker nights.
One design idea that struck me after giving my fingers a bit of a burning with the spag bol, was that the pouches are about as tall as most microwave's cooking cavities, making for some difficulties in handling. If there was a way to shave 8-10mm off the height, and make one side seam wider, giving a bigger gripping area, I think the safety of handling the pouches when hot could be improved.
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