Long time readers will remember the old list of ingredients for my chill – well I have finally decided that 23 ingredients probably is a bit excessive! This updated version simplifies things (a little) and is still an absolute showstopper. This is, more or less, the recipe from the incredible Grillstock cookbook, and if you have the equipment, I very much recommend you make this on the BBQ and through the occasional handful of wood chips onto the coals. The extra smokey edge is 100% worth the effort.
One revelation from this recipe is the idea of making the ‘chilli seasoning’. This is essentially all the herbs and spices you need, but premixed in quantity. You can then use what you need and store the remainder in a jar ready for next time – it will start losing some of it’s punch after a month though (as will all open spice jars).
Still gonna need 3-6 hours of cooking, so make it a day in advance if you can. This lot will feed 2 of you for 3 or 4 days…
For the Chilli Seasoning
Ok, it’s technically now 26 ingredients, but who’s counting?! 🙂
- We’re going to cook this on the hob then transfer to the oven or BBQ, so find a big pan capable of both.
- Chop the onion and garlic and put it on a low heat with some oil and a large knob of butter. Pop the lid on and sweat the onions for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Chop the steak into small cubes or strips, don’t go too small or you will lose them amongst the mince.
- In a separate pan, on a high heat, flash fry the steak for just long enough to seal it. You can drain any liquid back into the onions. Fry the bacon too if you are using it until it’s bordering on crispy. Set to one side.
- When the onions are ready chop and add half the chillis if using
- After a minute or so add the mince to the pan. When it starts to brown season heavily with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the chilli seasoning
- Add the steak and bacon to the mix, give it a stir and add the tins of chopped tomatoes, the puree and the chopped peppers if you’re using them.
- Stir this up and give it a couple of minutes to settle, then bring almost to the boil, turn down the heat and add the treacle, booze, beans and stock.
- If not smoking, add the liquid smoke or smoke powder
- Set the BBQ or oven to around 130c and transfer the open pot. Give it an hour before coming back and tasting it – you should get a clearer idea if it’s hot enough for you at this point. If not add the rest of the fresh chilli
- Season again if need be, a good chilli needs more than an average amount of salt to draw out it’s potential.
- If smoking, you’ll want to cook uncovered for the first 1-2 hours and apply the smoke during this time. If you want it more smokey fine, go 3 hours but you may need to add a little more beer or a touch of water so keep an eye on it every hour or so.
- Then cover and cook for a total of 6 hours if possible.
- Over the course of the cook, come back from time to time to give it a stir, check the heat and add a little more beer as it reduces. Taste regularly and adjust with extra spice as needed. If you have underestimated the amount of chillis and it’s not hot enough, the best thing to do is add some dried chilli flakes (I have a bottle of chilli vodka which is ideal for this as it’s vile in shot form!).
- If it looks too watery coming into that last hour then take the lid off and raise the heat to 160c
- Serve with rice, sprinkle with cheese, add a handful of tortillas and a dollop of sour cream and garnish with some fresh coriander. A couple of bottles of Mexican beer with lime wedges in the bottle neck will set things off perfectly!