- 1kg beef, cut into 4 pieces (use stewing steak, silver side oranother cheap cut)
- 3 onions
- 4 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- 300g spicy cooking chorizo, cut into chunks
- 2tsp each of ground cumin and allspice
- 1tsp cloves
- 1 large cinnamon stick
- 3 bay leaves
- 2tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 2 tsp dried
- 2 ancho chillies, deseeded
- 2 chiles de arbol
- 2tbsp sea salt
- Black pepper
- 3tbsp cider or balsamic vinegar
- 2 x 400g tins plum tomatoes
- 2tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2tbsp muscovado or dark brown sugar
- 2 x 400g tins borlotti beans, drained or 600g cooked
- Preheat the oven to 120°C (225°F/gas mark 1). Take the meat out of the fridge to de-chill. Whizz the onions and garlic in a food processor until finely chopped.
- Heat 2tbsp olive oil in a large casserole dish, and sear the meat on all sides until golden. Set to one side.
- Add another small slug of oil to brown the chorizo. Remove and add the onion, garlic, spices, herbs and chillies, then cook until soft in the chorizo oil. Season with salt and pepper and add the vinegar, tomatoes, ketchup and sugar.
- Put all the meat back into the pot with 400ml water (or red wine if you prefer), bring up to a simmer and cook, covered, in the low oven. After 2 hours, check the meat and add the beans. Cook for a further hour and just before serving, pull the meat apart with a pair of forks.
The joy of this recipe is that it takes half as long to prepare as most other chilli con carnes. By quickly searing a few, large chunks of beef you skip that horrendously boring job of browning batches of mince and avoid the risk of stewing the meat instead of caramelising it. It is fast and easy, and the meat gently braises in the oven until it is soft enough to pull apart.
Serve with a fresh tomato salsa, grated cheese, sour cream and simple cabbage salad.