Chilli beef brisket loaded nachos

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Now here is a feast that is fit for a Friday, Saturday, Sunday… or any day for that matter! Beef brisket is my favourite cut to use for a chilli as it holds the flavours of the spices amazingly well and slow cooks like a dream so you are left with a melt in your mouth chilli. I have kept the chilli recipe as simple as possible so it will be perfect served with a range of things from nachos to rice but feel free to use it as a base and add in extra vegetables or beans. Play around with your choice of chillies; I used ancho and chipotle morita to add a kick of heat whilst also adding a wonderful smokiness. If you prefer your chillies a touch milder then use whatever chillies suit you.

Ingredients- serves 4
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 beef brisket- approx. 500g
1 red onion- finely chopped
2 garlic cloves- crushed
1 tbsp each of ground cumin, coriander and oregano
1/2 tbsp each of paprika and cayenne pepper
Dried chillies such as chipotle morita and ancho
400ml hot beef stock
400ml passata
Salt and pepper

For the nachos
Lightly salted tortilla chips
Salsa, guacamole and soured cream
Fresh jalapenos
Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese as much as you dare!
Fresh coriander

1. Preheat the oven to 150c/ 130 fan. Choose a large, lidded, heavy based casserole dish and heat half of the oil over a medium- high heat. Season the brisket and brown it on all sides before removing from the pan. Drain off any excess fat and add a little more vegetable oil. Lower the heat and fry the onion and garlic together for a few minutes until softened.

2. Sprinkle in the spices and herbs and stir well to combine with the onion and garlic. Cook for an additional minute or two. Pour in a splash of the beef stock to remove any pieces of onion that may have caught to the pan slightly. Add the remaining stock and passata along with the dried chillies; bring to a simmer and add the brisket back to the pan. Pop the pan into the oven and cook for around 3-4 hours or until the brisket is meltingly tender. If the chilli looks like there is still a lot of liquid you can either remove the lid and continue to cook it or put it on the hob and simmer to reduce and thicken.

3. When ready to assemble the nachos, simply use two forks to pull the brisket apart. Take an ovenproof dish and layer with tortilla chips, salsa and some sliced fresh jalapenos. Sprinkle a little cheese before repeating. Add the chilli on top of the seond layer of nachos, add more cheese and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 200c/ 180 fan until the cheese is bubbling and melted. Finish with a handful of freshly chopped coriander and some more fresh jalapeno.

Chilli beef brisket nachos- ultimate comfort food perfect for a quiet night in or a party!

 

Smoky Mexican red bean soup with crispy chorizo

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There is no better way to warm yourself up on a chilly day than a big bowl of soup. This uses a spice combination that lends itself to a smoky, gently spiced finish that will satisfy everyone. Of course you can ramp up the heat by adding extra cayenne pepper or chilli if you want a full on kick! I have used a mix of cascabel and chipotle morita chillies which add heat as well as smokiness and nuttiness. You could also add a roasted red pepper for an added dimension. If you want to keep the soup vegetarian then simply omit the chorizo and serve with a drizzle of sour cream and a hunk of crusty bread on the side or a few tortilla chips to dunk or crush up on top like croutons. Some freshly chopped coriander also goes well here.

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Ingredients- serves 6
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves- chopped
2 red or white onions- chopped
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp coriander
1 tbsp tomato puree
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 cascabel chillies- skin pricked
1-2 chipotle or chipotle morita chillies- skin pricked
400ml tinned chopped tomatoes
2 tins of kidney beans-drained and rinsed
900ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper to season
Chorizo

1. Take a heavy based large saucepan and heat the oil over a medium heat. Soften the garlic and onion in the pan before adding all the spices. Cook for a couple of minutes before squeezing in the tomato puree and adding the oregano which also need to be cooked out for a couple of minutes.

2. Pop in the tomatoes, beans and stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 20- 25 minutes. I add the whole chilli at this stage to infuse. If you want a bit more heat you can chop the chilli into the soup. When ready, take the soup off the heat, season and allow to cool slightly. The soup now needs blending either in a large blender or using a hand blender if you prefer. Blitz and then taste again to check the seasoning. As the soup is finishing off, take chorizo and cut into small pieces. Dry fry in a frying pan until crisp. Serve the soup in warmed bowls and sprinkle the crispy chorizo on top.

Smoky and spicy bean soup- a perfect warmer with a taste of Mexico!

Chilli cheese crushed potato stack

After making this chilli cheese crushed potato stack and posting a photo on Twitter I had no idea how popular this would be- retweets, likes and views coming left, right and centre but for very good reason! I was aiming to create a proper comfort dish and it hit the spot so read on… Not only do you get the recipe for the stack but you are also getting my much loved chilli recipe. The combination of spices and chilli gives heat, sweetness, smokiness and an overall well rounded savoury hit. I love the combination of cascabel and smoked chipotle chillies but ancho chillies are also fabulous if you can only find these.

I would advise making the chilli the day before you want to eat it so the flavours have plenty of time to develop. I simmered mine the day before for an hour before then finishing it off the next day. If you want to add beans then be my guest by this is a chilli for meat lovers.

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Ingredients- serves 4
1 tbsp vegetable oil
400g beef mince
1 large red onion- finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves- crushed or finely chopped
1 tbsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika and oregano
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
200ml hot beef stock
1 tsp treacle
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 cascabel chillies
4 chipotle morita chillies
400g new potatoes
Butter
Cheddar cheese to top
Fresh jalapenos- finely sliced

1. Start by taking a pan and adding a glug of oil. Brown off the mince over a medium to high heat; if it is particularly fatty then drain off most before lowering the heat and adding the onion in. Cook until the onion is softening but not colouring and then add the garlic in for another minute.

2. Add the spices and herbs into the pan and stir well so the meat is well coated. Squeeze in the tomato puree and cook for two minutes. Pour in a little of the hot beef stock to help deglaze the bottom of the pan before pouring in the rest along with the tomatoes. Pop the cascabel and chipotle chillies. Stir through the treacle. Simmer the chilli for at least an hour and a half; leave overnight if you can.

3. When you are ready to assemble the dish, preheat the oven to 180c/ 160 fan. Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the potatoes until just tender. Drain well and lightly crush with a fork. Toss a good amount of butter through it (don’t hold back!) before placing the potatoes in an ovenproof roasting dish. Roast by themselves for 20-25 minutes until they turn golden and crispy in places. Spoon over the chilli and top with a liberal helping of grated cheese before returning to the oven. Cook until the cheese is melting. Finish with a sprinkling of freshly sliced jalapeno and serve with soured cream, if you like.

Chilli cheese crushed potato stack- forget your normal baked potatoes and give this a try!

 

Pork cheek chilli

Time for another pork cheek recipe I feel! This time I have used it in a chilli which has a delicate balance between smoky and spicy flavours and the tender pork. Yet again, it’s all about low and slow cooking so don’t rush this!

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Ingredients- serves 4
4 pork cheeks- trimmed and cut into inch pieces
1 large onion- chopped
2 garlic cloves- crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 dried ancho chillies
2-3 dried arbol chillies
1 tin of kidney beans
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp treacle

1. Start by preheating the oven to 160c/ 140 fan. Take a glug of oil in a large heavy casserole pan and brown off the pork cheeks for a few minutes before setting aside. Next up, fry the onion and garlic together until softened and about to turn golden.

2. Combine the coriander, cumin, oregano, cayenne and paprika and add to the onions. Cook together for a couple of minutes before returning the pork to the pan and coating it in the spice mix. At the stage I prick the dried chillies and pop them in the pan too. The ancho chillies bring smokiness to the chilli alongside the paprika and the arbol give it a kick! Add the kidney beans, making sure they too are well coated, before the tomaotes and stock goes in. I tend to put half of the stock in at this stage and reserve the rest for during cooking if it needs a bit of extra moisture. In goes the treacle to add a great depth of flavour alongside the savoury chillies.

3. Bring the chilli to the boil on the hob before placing in the oven for 2 1/2- 3 hours until the cheeks are tender and the sauce is thick and unctuous. Check the pork every now and again as it cooks and add extra stock if needed. Finish with some roughly chopped coriander leaves, serve with rice and dig right in!

A cheeky chilli fit for every table!