Cold days plus a mountain of ripe avocados leftover from Superbowl Sunday (because it’s just not Superbowl without guac and chips) have to result in a large bowl of steaming chilli.
Like in the US, UK chilli (although we tend to call it chilli con carne) is a staple family meal in most households. And each version will have their favorite plethora of sides (cornbread, grated cheese, plain yogurt, jalapenos etc.) to accompany it, I personally love to serve mine with plain rice, nachos, sour cream , guacamole, lime wedges, chopped fresh green chillies (if I have them) and chopped cilantro.
Ever since I started to add Chorizo to my chilli, I’ve never looked back. Authentic Chorizo is cheap in the UK (being that much closer to Spain), which makes this a more affordable recipe across the pond. However, you can get US-produced in the US cheaply and whilst (sorry!) the ones I’ve tried here are not a patch on the authentic versions, they’re fine for a stewed recipe like this. It’s worth pushing the boat out and getting the proper stuff if you’re out to impress though. I personally love the addition of a decent Chorizo; the more paprika and smokiness a chilli can obtain, the better in my book!
I’ve always added a bit of heat to my chillis – and although I try and tone it down it’s probably still a tad on the spicy side where kids are concerned. My nine-year-old laps it up (and always has done) regardless. The three-year-old complained it was spicy but she also thinks Salt & Vinegar chips/crisps are spicy! You’ll definitely want to tone down my measurements heat-wise if your kids are anything like my youngest. If you do accidentally add too much, then you could try mixing plain yogurt or sour cream into your child’s portion for instant cooling. I did that with the three-year-old who did at least eat all the beans out of it!
1lb (500g) good-quality minced beef (I used grass-fed)
I large Chorizo sausage sliced into thick (1cm) chuncks and quartered
1 large onion, diced
I small carrot, grated
3 cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 glass red wine (optional)
400g (or half a large tin) of plum tomatoes
1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
300g dark kidney beans
8oz (200-250ml) chicken base/stock
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon Chipotle chilli (more or less depending on how spicy you like it, and who you’re cooking for.
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
a few good pinches Oregano.
Two ripe avocados
A small bunch of cilantro (coriander, UK readers), finely chopped – stalks and leaves
The juice of 1 -11/2 limes,
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 green chopped chilli (deseeded) or a pinch red pepper flakes, according to taste. Admittedly, I omitted chilli out of my version as I was serving it to the kids
Salt and pepper
Gently fry the onion and carrots until soft.
Add the crushed garlic and fry for a few more minutes until cooked
At this point add your chorizo and wait until the paprika oils run and colour the veg
Once cooked through, add the mince.
Brown the mince, then add the herbs and spices and continue to cook for another minute or two.
Add the wine (if using) and let the wine reduce/cook out.
Next add the tinned plum tomatoes (I use San Marzano) and the stock.
Bring to boil then add the beans, vinegar, salt and peper and turn the heat down to low and let it bubble away for a good hour.
Keep checking and stirring your sauce every so often, adding more stock or water if needed to prevent the sauce from drying out.
Meanwhile make your guac:
Scoop the avocados into the bowl.
Add the chopped cialnto, wqueezed lime huice, garli, salt and pepper.
I just mash mine with a fork as I like a bit of texture, but feel free to pulverize to your heart’s content!
Add salt and pepper to taste.