Chilli is one of those dishes I've been cooking as long as I can remember; well, at least since student days in York, a hundred years ago. In those days, it was a fairly simple affair of meat, onions, tomatoes and chilli powder, although I do remember going through a caraway seed phase at one point. Newly inspired by my Pioneer Woman Cooks book, I made one at the weekend, although I departed from her recipe quite a bit. There's a bit of a nod to Mexico with the addition of some cocoa powder, and on a trip to the splendid Spice Shop (opposite Books for Cooks in west London) I stocked up on dried chipotle peppers, so I bunged a couple of those in as well. I was well pleased with the result: it's good and rich with a spicy kick.
500g minced beef
1 chopped onion
half a diced red pepper
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp good cocoa powder
2 dried chipotle chillis
A good splash of chipotle and jalapeno chilli sauces
400g tins of black beans and red kidney beans
Fry off the onions then add the mince to brown. Add salt to taste. Stir in the tomatoes and pepper, then combine with all the spicy stuff. Simmer for an hour, then about 20 mins before serving, add the beans (which you've strained and washed of the gunky stuff in the tin).
I'm very fond of black beans and on Saturday I spotted a tin of them in the Carribean section of Tesco's - normally I soak the dried ones overnight but it was a lazy weekend.
I served up with some coleslaw and rice cooked off in some summer allotment tomato sauce from the freezer and a handful of chopped coriander. A great winter supper.