Chilli Nights

Seeing as it’s so wet and miserable outside here’s a nice dinner idea that will warm you right up. I like to serve mine on a bed of chinese leaf which adds a bit of fresh crunch and a large helping of homemade guacamole. I also grill off some tortilla wraps which you can use to soak up all the lovely sauce. It looks like a long list of ingredients but most stuff you’ll be likely to already have in your kitchen.

What you need:

(serves 6)

2lb or 1Kg mince steak

100g diced pancetta or bacon

2 white onions diced

1 celery heart sliced

4 clove garlic crushed

1/2 fresh chilli diced depending on level of intensity

Juice of one lime

1 tsp ground cumin, coriander, oregano sweet paprika

2 bay leaves

2tblsp chilli powder (chipotle gives a nice smoky dimension)

2tblsp flour

2 tblsp tomato puree

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

450ml beef stock

250ml red wine

400g can of kidney beans

and the best part…..100g 70% chocolate!!


What to do:

In a large saucepan heat some olive oil and begin by browning off the mince. Transfer to a sieve and strain the juice leaving some of the juices behind in the pan. Add the diced bacon pieces to the now empty pan and allow to get crispy. Now add the onion, celery and chilli and allow to cook for two mins before adding the garlic and lime juice. continue to cook over a medium heat stirring constantly.


Once the onions have softened return the mince to the pan and stir everything together. Now add the flour and cook for a further 2 mins to cook out the flour. Add the cumin, coriander, oregano, chilli powder, paprika and bay leaves and again cook for a further two mins stirring constantly. Add the tomato puree, tomatoes, stock and red wine, stir and bring to a slight boil. Once it begins to boil reduce the heat to low. Add the chocolate and stir to melt it through. This changes the chilli to a rich earthy colour.


Allow the chilli to cook uncovered for approx one and a half hours or until the sauce has reduced. Stir every now and again to avoid sticking. Add the canned kidney beans ten minutes before serving.

Cut some tortilla wraps into triangles and grill off or serve with rice. Enjoy xxx




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