‘Epic Chilli’ is one of my absolute favourite dinners, especially on blustery winter days. There really is nothing better than coming in out of the cold to be greeted by a bowl of this.
I’d love to say this recipe is mine but, alas, it is not. Rob has been perfecting his ‘Epic Chilli’ recipe for years. It has been a bit of a labour of love and has gone through many variations.
But this final version of the recipe is the pinnacle of all those afternoons spent tinkering away in the kitchen – with its combination of mince and luscious chunks of beef, and the addition of a ‘finishing butter’ (an element inspired by Heston Blumenthal) it is utterly comforting.
‘Epic Chilli’ is not a recipe that can be made in a hurry. It is a recipe that is ideal for anyone wanting to spend an afternoon pottering about in the kitchen, stirring and chopping.
The ingredient list looks long but many items, such as the spices, are used across the different elements. This recipe will easily make 8-10 generous portions. It also freezes brilliantly so is perfect for batch cooking. The total cooking time, including prep, is around three hours.
Epic Chilli – Ingredients
For the Chilli:
- Sunflower oil
- 800g Beef mince
- 400g Stewing beef
- 3 red chillies
- 2 green chillies
- 1 red pepper
- 3 large carrots
- 3 large onions
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1tsp jarred jalapenos
- 1 tin red kidney beans
- 2 tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 beef stock pots
- 200ml red wine
- 1tbsp chilli powder
- 1tsp cayenne pepper
- 2tsps smoked paprika
- 1tbsp ground cumin
- 1tsp ground coriander
- 3 star anise
- 1tbsp oregano
- 2tsp thyme
- 1tbsp tomato puree
For the Finishing Butter:
- 70g unsalted butter
- 1tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1/2tsp ground coriander
- 1tsp chilli powder
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- a few generous glugs of Worcestershire Sauce
For the Brine:
- 200ml red wine
- 1 1/2tsp chilli powder
- 1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
- salt and pepper
For the brine:
- Begin by separating the stewing beef and placing in a bowl. Add the red wine, followed by the chilli powder, smoked paprika and a few dashes of Worcester sauce. Add some salt and pepper to season, then cover and refrigerate for at least three hours.
For the finishing butter:
- It is best to create the finishing butter in advance (this is what you add to your chilli towards the end of cooking).
- Add 70 grams of butter to a medium heat pan. Before it starts melting, add the ketchup, cumin, chilli powder, ground coriander, smoked paprika and Worcester sauce.
- Keep stirring, until the butter has fully melted and started sizzling, and the ingredients have fully melted together.
- Pour all of the melted mixture into a small pot or ramekin (including as much of the leftover residue as possible).
- Put the mixture in the fridge to solidify ready for use later.
For the Chilli:
- Preheat oven to 125 °C
- Begin by dicing the onions and carrots.
- Heat a large oven suitable casserole dish on the hob on a medium-high heat, with a generous dash of sunflower oil.
- Add the carrots and onions, stirring to occasionally.
- While these are cooking, chop/mince your garlic cloves, and also your red chillies. You can deseed the chillies if you wish, but we prefer to keep them in. Leave these all to one side, keeping an eye on your onions and carrots.
- Once the onions start to soften a little, add the 800g of beef mince, breaking the mince up and stirring it in.
- Once you have broken up the mince, sprinkle two teaspoons of chilli powder over the mince and onion/carrot mixture, along with a teaspoon of paprika. Stir well, continually breaking up the mince as much as possible and trying to avoid the mince from clumping together too much.
- Once the mince is starting to cook (just before it browns too much), add the garlic and red chillies to the pan. Then add the cumin, oregano, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper, then mix well.
- Once the mince has browned nicely, add the two tins of chopped tomatoes, and stir well.
- Pour in a 1/4 bottle of red wine, followed by the beef stockpots. Stir for a minute or so.
- At this point, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and put the lid on the pan. Cook for around 10 mins, checking regularly and stirring well, ensuring nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the can of kidney beans, including most of the brine and stir well.
- Dice 1tbsp of jarred jalapenos and the red pepper. Finely chop the two green chillies and add everything to the pot along with the cayenne pepper, ground coriander and star anise.
- Add the stewing beef, along with the brine (the leftover wine mixture from the bowl) into the pan. Add a little water (or an extra splash of wine) if you feel it needs it.
- Keep your chilli simmering gently for another fifteen minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
- Check the chilli for seasoning and adjust as required. Put the lid on the casserole dish and transfer to the oven.
- Cook in the oven for 90 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally.
- After 90 minutes add the finishing butter to the chilli. Stir well until the butter has melted. Place the chilli back in the oven for a further 30 -45 minutes.
- Remove the Epic Chilli from the oven and serve with rice, grated cheese, sour cream if you like.
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