Friday, 3 February 2012

Chunky Chilli (if this doesn't warm you up, nothing will)

Mince-free zone
As tasty as a bog standard chilli con carne made out of mince is, this monster of a meal will pulverise what you previously thought of as chilli into oblivion. Just like a proper ragu made from great hunks of meat, slow cooked until self-shredding is better than the quick mincey bol, this version of an old favourite is so blimmin wonderful that you'll wonder why you ever bought mince in the first place. Well, I hope you like it anyway. It's pretty cold right now, and I am existing on what can only be described as 'man food'. The Boyfriend is ecstatic and my belly is full and warm every evening. Salad: be gone, you have no purpose here.

Feeds 3/4 depending on gluttonous tendencies. Take a casserole dish/high sided pan and gently brown about 500g diced braising steak/skirt/ox cheek or any part of cow that likes to be slow cooked in a splash of olive oil. Sprinkle in a tbsp of chilli powder, tsp cumin, tsp paprika and a generous dousing of oregano, dried or fresh and extra chopped chilli if you want it. Mix it all up and add two tins of chopped tomatoes, season and bring to the boil. It should be quite soupy at this point so add some water if needed. Cover and simmer for 1.5 hours (if pushed for time just cut the beef into smaller pieces), take the lid off for the last 20 minutes to let it reduce, if it hasn't already. At this point add a drained tin of kidney beans. The meat is ready when Grandma can eat it without her dentures. If you have any of that wonderful 100% cacao chocolate, grate a bit over the top and stir in. Serve with either toasted tortillas or rice, sliced avocado, a generous squeeze of lime and chopped coriander.

Accompany with some red wine and a hot water bottle.

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