Chilli con Carne (any Chilli Jam)


Chilli Jam of your choice

1kg diced chuck steak / braising steak

2 finely chopped onions

1 finely chopped sweet red pepper

400ml dark beer

2 tins chopped tomatoes

100g tomato puree

3 beef stock cubes

1 teaspoon paprika

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cinnamon stick

salt and pepper to season

Splash of oil (we use rapeseed)

Firstly, I prefer my chilli without beans, we’re fixated on red kidney beans in the UK for some reason but true tex-mex food will use a mix of a few beans to none at all so please play around with this to your hearts content and make it your own, that’s where all the secret family recipes start from – and this is mine!

I use a big heavy cast iron casserole dish, heat some oil on the hob and throw in about 1kg of diced chuck steak. This is from the shoulder area and much better than braising steak which is normally much tougher and from different parts like the shins, ask your Butcher, he’ll love you! I brown this only turning a few times, it doesn’t need to be completely sealed, you’re more trying to caramelise some of the sugars and get a bit of colour.

Next add 2 finely chopped onions and 1 finely chopped sweet red pepper and turn these through for a few minutes. When the onions are going translucent add the rest.. about 400ml of nice dark beer (you’ll see hobgoblin in the pic, that’s what I used in this one), 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, about 100g of tomato puree, 3 beef stock cubes, 2 teaspoon of paprika and 2 teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 good cinnamon stick, a bit of salt and pepper to season to your taste and the secret ingredient….. 5 good teaspoons of Garlic Chilli Jam. I use this one for a couple of reasons, firstly I want it to be family friendly and not too hot, I add The 3 Peaks to mine later (it’s beyond epic!), secondly, chilli garlic and ginger is more of a South East Asian base so here I’m just going chilli and garlic.

Now give a gentle stir, pre heat the oven to about 140’C (gas mark 1), bring the pan to the boil on the hob being careful it doesn’t stick then put the lid on and pop it in the oven. I’ll leave it in for about 3 hours stirring every hour or so.

At this point the beef with start falling to bits like pulled pork. I love to break most of the pieces up by gently pushing them with the back of a fork against a wooden spoon, stir it through and back in the oven for another half hour, the meat will soak up the sauce and you’re getting into food porn territory again now!

Now take it out of the oven, leave it to rest, make some rice, nachos, spuds or however you prefer to serve your chilli and dive in with a couple of cold beers and a few good mates. Those of you who want it hot just mix The 3 Peaks Chilli Jam in, or if you’re very brave, Reapers Revenge!