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Soul Food

Chilli and rice

It's all very well having your fancy foie gras and duck liver pate but when it comes to food that's good for the soul, you can't beat a hot steaming plate of chilli and rice. There is something so wholesome and comforting about tucking into the rich tomato sauce with tender morsels of beef on a cold day (or any day really). We tend to have chilli a lot at the moment, but I'm not complaining, and the recipe we have come to love is from Jamie Oliver's Happy Days with the naked chef. The recipe will feed four people, or two people then freeze the rest and you have a meal that can be ready in minutes.

  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 level tsps chilli powder
  • 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cumin (or cumin seeds freshly ground)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 455g chuck steak
  • 200g sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 2 x 400g tins of plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 2 x 400g tins of red kidney beans, drained
Preheat the oven to 150 deg centigrade. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in large, oven proof casserole over a medium heat. Finely chop the onion and garlic in a food processor and add to the pan, stirring until soft but not golden. Add the chilli powder, cumin, fresh chilli, and seasoning. Cut the chuck steak into large pieces and pulse in the food processor. The steak should be in pieces about the size of small sugar cubes as you need a bit of texture in the dish. Once you have done this add the meat to the pan and stir until browned all over. Blitz the sun dried tomatoes in the food processor with about a tablespoon or two of their oil so it makes a paste. Add this to the pan with the cinnamon stick and tinned tomatoes with a wine glass of water.
Bring the chilli to the boil, then cover with greaseproof or parchment paper and the lid. Transfer the pan to the oven to cook for about 1 1/2 hours, adding the kidney beans half an hour before the cooking time is up. This a really good meal to make a day ahead as the flavour is better and then it's quick an easy to prepare when you want it. Serve with either guacamole, yoghurt and crusty bread or good old fashioned boiled rice.
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Reader Comments (2)

We like our chilli a bit thicker, so we don't tend to bother with the wine glass of water, and don't bother with the greaseproof paper, so it thickens up a bit in the oven.

April 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGraeme

I don't tend to add the extra water either, but I do use a wet cartouche to prevent the original moisture being lost.

Chili is such a lovely warming dish. Recently I made the Cuban equivalent of Picadillo, which was glorious.

April 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKitchen Goddess

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