I’ve been making this for years, I’m sure we all have our own versions, but I thought it worth sharing and would be really interested to hear about how you do yours.
I’ll apologise now because some of the amounts I just can’t give! It’s a bit of this, a bit of that, and will depend on your taste, but I’ll give as good an idea as possible.
500g Minced beef, steak mince if possible if not as lean as possible
1 large onion
several celery stalks (4?)
1 large or several small cloves of garlic
1 tin kidney beans
1 tin cherry or chopped tomatoes
Fresh or easy chilli (already prepared in a jar) to taste!
1 red pepper finely chopped or large chunks if you like, up to you, you don’t even have to have one if you don’t fancy!
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons carraway seeds ( more if you like )
Several good slugs of Lee and Perrins
At least 4 large squares of very dark chocolate (70% or higher)
2 teaspoons Umami paste
Pinch of sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper (mixed pepper corns are good)
Shot of balsamic vinegar
2 pints of beef stock, Knorr is good if you don’t have your own, you may need more water to top up the longer the chilli is cooked.
Teaspoon or 2 of paprika
Large glass of red wine, probably 250ml and one for you while you cook!
Start by finely chopping your onions, celery, carrots and garlic, put some olive oil into a heavy bottom saucepan and heat slightly before adding the chopped vegetables and garlic, the idea is to sweat this off for as long as possible without colouring, so pop a lid on, put on a really low heat and sauté away for at least 20 minutes. I know this sounds a long time but this will give a good rich base to the dish. Keep checking to make sure it’s not colouring or burning, give it a stir.
Ok, when the onion is transparent and everything nice and soft, turn up the heat and add the mince, keep stirring until mince turns brown. Next throw the wine in and cook off, then the balsamic vinegar,lee and perrins, then follow with everything else. I would suggest you add either one medium chilli, seeds and all finely chopped or 2 small teaspoons of the jar chilli, let it cook for a couple of hours then taste to see if you want to add more. Now the trick to this is to cook very slowly for as long as possible. Just make sure there is enough fluid to ensure nothing starts sticking to the bottom, you can top up with stock, water or wine, I usually use a mix. I don’t contemplate eating this until it’s cooked for at least 5 hours, if at all possible longer and even better make the day before and re heat on the stove (not the microwave it dries it out if you’re not very careful)
Hope you find time to make this it’s worth the wait, you may have to play with the amounts to get it to your exact taste but that’s half the fun! I would love to hear if this recipe is anything like yours or if you have some tips for me.