I love spicy food, I grew up in a world where having a spicy curry based dish for breakfast is norm. Most fast food restaurants back home serve chilli sauce as a standard instead of tomato sauce for your burgers and fries. So when I first arrived in Aberdeen was a little shocked to see ketchup as the de facto sauce for your burger and fries! Then I slowly realised that sometimes just tiny bit seasoning and a select few herbs could bring out the real taste of food. Food doesn’t have to be overly spiced or seasoned. The subtle taste of your ingredients sometimes is more than enough. People here want to taste the flavours of the meat and other ingredients that go into a meal. Not everything needs to be hot and fiery. Flavours like smoke, oak, pepper, citrus, mints are great flavours to have in a meal and its all good.
Anyway this dish isn’t!! It’s not subtle at all, it’s hot, spicy, hearty and meaty! It packs quite a punch and will make you want to have more. It has a tiny bit of dark chocolate and a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg. I also used bit of port so that the sweetness of the port will counter the heat from chilli.
It feeds about 6 and not expensive to make. Perfect for a group of people. Tastes awesome with a glass of red wine or washed down with some cold beer. Works well on bread, in a wrap wit lettuce, on baked potatoes and with rice or on pasta. You can even have it on its own. I’m breaking tradition by using lamb mince which I think is a lot more flavourful.
It’s Chilli done my way.
Cooking time : 45min
100g of sweet corn
1 Tin of chopped tomatoes (400g)
1 tin of kidney beans, drained
1 packet of lamb mince (500g)
1 Good Sized Red Chilli thinly diced
1 Good Sized Green Chilli thinly diced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1tsp extra hot chilli powder (you can omit this if you don’t want it too hot)
1 Sweet Pointed Red Pepper (you can use normal red pepper if you want)
10 Basil leaves
1 tsp dried oregano or mixed italian herbs
4 to 5 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
1 Onion finely diced
1 Tbsp of tomato puree
4 to 6 cubes of dark chocolate (about 60% cocoa)
tiny sprinkle of cinnamon
tiny sprinkle of nutmeg
A good glug of port (optional)
Step 1: Heat about 3 tbsp olive oil in a large pan at medium heat and saute the onions, chilli and pepper until soft. Drop in the paprika and stir for a bit.
Step 2: Season the mince with salt, pepper and nutmeg generously. Add to the pan and keep stirring until all the mince is browned slightly. Add the chilli powder, corn and beans and chopped tinned tomatoes.
Step 3: Add in some port(if you have some) Let it bubble for about 5 mins, lower the heat and gently simmer for about 25 mins. When done, add the dark chocolate and a touch of cinnamon.
Serve on plate with rice and tortilla chips, top it with some creme fraiche and garnish with basil.