Beef Chilli always seems to go down well with most people, we love it in our house.
It’s one of those dishes you can just throw together, I don’t think any two of my chillies I’ve cooked have been the same!
I have put this recipe together though to cover the basics and a few tips to help you with the cooking techniques.
For me a Beef chilli has to be heavy on the tomatoes. Skimp on the tomatoes and your going to end up with a lacklustre dish. Don’t forget in some parts of the US a Chilli is referred to as ‘A big bowl of red’, well where do you think that red comes from?
I recommend using a hefty amount of tomato paste, a teaspoon just isn’t going to cut it here! I also add tinned tomatoes as well.
Spices & Herbs For Your Beef Chilli
Chilli has its origins in Mexico. Chilli Con Carne is really just a poor imitation of a Mexican Mole. Just because it’s an imitation though doesn’t mean it can’t be a great dish in it’s own right.
So thinking about the Mexican influence, the spices that you simply must have are chilli (obviously), ground cumin and oregano. I also add fresh coriander but that may not be to everyones taste.
A little cinnamon works nicely too but I’ve missed that out on this recipe. If you want to try it add a 1/4 teaspoon and see how you get on with that.
Sweet & Sour
A lot of dishes that are tomato based need something a little extra to bring it together. A combination of something sweet and sour works wonders.
For this recipe I’ve kept it simple and just used a little sugar and vinegar. You could replace the vinegar for a squeeze of lime.
Beef Chilli Chillies!
Obviously chillies are a major part of a chilli! You don’t have to use fresh though. If you have no fresh just increase the amount of dried your using.
Fresh chillies do add a nice zing though and of course you can play around with the varieties your using. In this one I used a combination of standard red chillies and Scotch Bonnets.
Also you could try getting a variety of dried chilli pods and grinding your own chilli powder. I particularly like a combination of Ancho, Pasilla, Mullato and chillies de Arbol.
Of course you could try adding one of my ‘Ome Made Rub-a-Dub-Rubs to the mix. I have 2 which are South American based and ideal for a chilli. They are Spirit Of The Jaguar Rub-a-Dub-Rub and Adobo Loco Rub-a-Dub-Rub. You can find them here omemade.co.uk
To get the best flavours you need to cook your chilli correctly. It’s quite easy.
First off, get those onions cooked. You want to cook all the moisture out of the onions, the salt helps drawer the moisture out. You then want to bring out the natural sweetness of the onion by slightly caramelising the onion, which is why you cook it ’till it’s starting to turn a pale brown colour.
Brown your meat. Simple, it seals it and caramelises all those lovely juices. To achieve this make sure you have a pan big enough so the meat can spread out, if it’s overcrowded it will just steam.
Evaporate any liquid before adding the tomato paste, if you do you know you’re concentrating all those flavours in the pan and everything is going to be cooked out correctly.
And that’s about it, Here’s the recipe. Enjoy and don’t forget to add your own embellishments to make it your perfect Chilli recipe!
- 500 g minced beef
- 150 g dried beans I use a mix of kidney and pinto, soaked overnight. Or you could use tinned (400g tin will be fine)
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
- 1.5 tbsp oil (neutral flavoured)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 each red chillies Add more or less to taste, If you like it hot, try some fresh Scotch bonnets.
- 1 each red pepper diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chilli powder or to taste
- 1 tsp 'Ome Made Adobo Loco Rub-a-Dub-Rub (optional)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp vinegar White/red wine or cider work best
- 1 each beef stock cube
- 40 g tomato paste (a hefty tablespoon)
- 400 g chopped tinned tomato
- 400 ml water an empty tomato cans worth!
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano finely chopped (use 1 tsp dried to replace fresh)
- 1 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped (optional)
- 6 good turns of freshly ground black pepper
- Drain the beans and cover with fresh water plus an inch. Bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Once boiled turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes then drain.
- Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the onion and salt. Cook gently for 10 minutes until the onion is starting to brown.
- Add the garlic to the pan and fry for 20 seconds.
- Add the minced beef to the pan. Stir to break up and cook until browned.
- Add the dried spices and black pepper to the meat and continue to fry for a minute.
- Add the fresh chillies and red pepper and stir
- Add the sugar, vinegar and the crumbled stock cube, turn up the heat to reduce any liquid in the pan.
- Once most of the liquid has evaporated add the tomato paste and fry for a further 20 seconds or so,
- add the tinned tomatoes plus 1 can full of water.
- Add the cooked and drained beans, the oregano and coriander.
- Cook on a gentle simmer for 50 minutes to and hour, add more water if needed. Or alternatively put in a slow cooker to finish cooking, give it a t least 3 hours. Or you can put in a low oven at 100C for at least 3 hours but up to 5. Just check the liquid levels and add more water if needed.