Vegetarians turn away now…! A full meat chilli!

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Vegetarians turn away now...! A full meat chilli!

I have dabbled with different chilli recipes for many many moons – and have tried many many varieties. Everyone has their own version and each time folk make them they get a different twist – it’s what makes this dish so exciting and so cook friendly. The recipe I now base my current version on is Hugh Fearneley-Whittingstall’s from his magnificent book simply entitled – Meat. It is a stonker. A no nonsense meat feast of a dish that gets up and bites back.

INGREDIENTS FOR 8-10 PEOPLE – OR 4 VERY VERY HUNGRY FOLK

1kg minced beef
500 gm diced shoulder pork
250 gm chorizo sliced into chunks
500 gm borlotti beans or kidney beans or a mix of both
Olive oil
2 large onions chopped
3 green chillies deseeded and chopped
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsps dark brown sugar
2 400gm tins of good chopped tomatoes
250 ml beef stock
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
Some dried oregano and thyme
3 tbsp of hot chilli powder
Black pepper
Fresh coriander

Soured cream to serve

Heat oil in large pan. Brown all meats in batches. Transfer to a large stock pot or casserole dish. Add more oil. Sweat onions on a slightly lower heat until a little brown. Add to meat along with all other ingredients except the beans and coriander.

Bring to the boil and simmer gently. Cook for at least an hour – I usually leave it for at least an hour and a half. No lid! Add beans for last twenty minutes. Taste – adjust seasoning – maybe just black pepper – I have never had to add salt. Add the roughly chopped coriander just before serving and stir through.

Serve with rice – I put a little turmeric in mine – cos it looks nice! And a pot of soured cream. Or you could serve with naan bread or tacos or crusty bread – or even a baked potato.

This is a demon of a dish – a veritable feast of flavours. So much more than some of the limp versions you see in pubs.

Enjoy.

Trout with pasta…no? Really? Oh yes! A velvet inferno….

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Last night, ’twas another late night supper – and another ‘what the heck have I got in the fridge’ moment –  and I really was in the mood for something with a bit of zing, a bit of velvet inferno. It was definitely a night for a zingy something or other. There, nestling at the bottom of the fridge, trying to mind their own business were 4 trout fillets that I bought last Monday afternoon – and there was green chilli and….well, that was it. So…I wrapped the fillets in foil with a little butter, and made a tomato sauce with the finely sliced chilli. It was actually quite pokey without taking my breath away – just enough not to mask the flavour of the trout. In the cupboard there is always lots of pasta of all shapes and sizes but for some reason my eyes alighted on a bag of macaroni – perfect. I wanted something that was going to match the delicacy of the fish-chilli and trout – yes – the velvet inferno may yet be possible.  Pasta went on the plates and then I cut the fillets into three pieces and arranged them on top of the pasta – then ladled over the wonderfully zingy sauce. Ok..the pic below may not do it justice – it may not be Picasso on a plate…but it was poetry for the palate…..

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