You gotta know when to hold ’em

If you’ve got any style or class, I’d like to think the title of this post was sung in your head. And just kept going with the rest of the song! I have fond memories of playing poker as a teenager with my then boyfriend and his mates. They all tended to drink a lot of beer, at that age I hardly drank at all. This was my secret weapon. Play safe until they all get totally drunk then take them all to the cleaners! Booya! Unfortunately we were all so poor (we were only 18) that we never bet with real money, just their parents shrapnel bowl (coin collection, not actual shrapnel. That would be deeply disturbing.). Otherwise I could be driving something a bit more swanky than a Honda Jazz….

And what does poker have to do with baby led weaning and meal planning??

Well tonight’s delicious meal is Leon’s Poker Night Chilli. Taken from the 4th book in the Leon Restaurant cookbook collection (I am missing only one, hint hint Legoman). If you are a new here, I love Leon. If you’re a more frequent reader, nothing new.

Leon: Family and Friends, Book 4

Leon: Family and Friends, Book 4

Legoman has told me which meals don’t really tickle his fancy… minestrone soup, chilli con carne, most meals without meat. I am pleased to report that when I made this for the second time in a week Legoman was delightfully happy and stated “Is that what you made the other night? I really like that one. Like, a lot.”.

So do click on the link for the recipe and have an equally happy husband in your house too!

Leon’s Poker Night Chilli

Affordability : EXCELLENT. For a meal super high in protein, this can be made very cheaply. Beef mince comes in differing quality/cost levels and is often in the clearance section at my local Woolies. You could easily make a double batch for under $15.

Time Factor : MODERATE. Prep takes about 10 minutes and cooking takes about 50 minutes from start to finish. My one gripe about the printed recipe is that up the top where it states number of serves, prep time and cook time, it states the cooking time is 10 minutes. But then the recipe says “simmer on low for 30-40 minutes”. Fail. I think it’s the Virgo in me that gets really irked by mistakes like that.

Complexity : LOW. Lovely and straight forward. The second time I made this, I hardly looked at the recipe. That, is a good recipe.

Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. Lacks vegetables, but that is half the joy. The other half is the Mt Everest pile of cheese on top. Mmmmmmmmmmm. One little hint would be to brown off your mince well. And don’t scrimp on the simmer time, let it thicken up nicely.

Mess : LOW. One pot wonder. First night I used a saucepan, second night I used a large frypan. Both worked very well.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. Try and not be full after a big bowl of meat, beans, rice and cheese. I dare you. Double dare even.

Possum Friendly? YES. An excellent meal for a bub with a pincer grasp. It’s a shame that Possum has totally shunned mince meat. She did put some in her mouth the second night. I held my breath. 5 seconds later it was spat out. Baby steps. She did eat about 6 red kidney beans out of the tin while we were cooking. But then refused to eat any in the actual meal.

Would I make it again? Yes, this is saved in the go to list in my head as it uses easily accessible ingredients, most of which are in my cupboard as a state of permanency.

Leon's Poker Night Chilli

Leon’s Poker Night Chilli

And I just want to make a little shout out for The Australian Climbing Festival which is going to be held in the Blue Mountains next weekend. Another great reason to come visit the Blue Mountains!!

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