Chilly chilli

Working with a very stripped down kitchen is bringing an interesting challenge to cooking. It can be really frustrating, but I’m trying to look on the fun side wherever possible. Cooking for a group is definitely one of those!

Haven’t had chilli in a while. It’s a really flexible dish and it’s great for groups.

Celery, onion, mushroom, garlic and a pinch of salt on the instant pot sauté setting. Once that’s all softened and smelling amazing, in goes the beef. Brown that off, add spices – pepper, old Bay, oregano, and a dash of cinnamon. I didn’t add paprika this time as the one I have is almost cayenne hot.

A tin of tomatoes, and a large mug of stock from a beef cube.

This stuff is magic. Stubb’s and Colgin’s are the most popular/ widely available brands, and both are excellent. It’s about a fiver a bottle, but it’s used like vanilla – a teaspoon at a time.

I slow cook this for a couple of hours to help the flavours develop, then near to serving I add a whole red bell pepper and a tin of kidney beans, drained. You can leave the liquid in, but it is quite..er.. flatulence causing.

Deeply unattractive, but incredibly delicious. This time round I served it with a small amount of rice, salted tortilla chips, grated cheese, sour cream and hot sauce.

As we’ve a small boy, I tend to make this without chilli and then put out a few different hot sauces (Valentina, Chipotle Tabasco and a variety of Mic’s Chilli, usually) for people to customise. It works really well as people can make things as hot, or not, as they want.

I sometimes serve with refried pinto beans, or black beans. Fresh coriander and a wedge of lime are a good addition too.

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