The hidden ingredient in Mexican Chilli is what makes this dish taste so amazing. Cocoa powder helps balance the heat of the chilli and give this dish an authentic appearance. Serve with boiled rice, soured cream, wedge or orange and a floured tortilla.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion (large)
- 1 red pepper
- 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
- 1 tsp (heaped) chilli powder (or 1 level tsp for mild)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 500 gram lean minced beef
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 400g can of chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder (the no longer secret ingredient)
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 410g red kidney beans
- Prepare your vegetables. Chop your onion into small dice, about 5mm square. The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half from root to tip, peel it and slice each half into thick matchsticks lengthways, not quite cutting all the way to the root end so they are still held together. Slice across the matchsticks into neat dice. Cut your pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and wash the seeds away, then chop.
- Start cooking. Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft and slightly translucent. Tip in the garlic, red pepper, chilli, paprika and cumin. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Brown the mince. Turn the heat up a bit, add the meat to the pan and break it up with your spoon or spatula. The mix should sizzle when you add the mince. Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.
- Making the sauce. Crumble your stock cube into 300ml/1?2 pint of hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. Open the can of chopped tomatoes and add these as well. Tip in the marjoram and the sugar, and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in about 2 tbsp of tomato purée and stir the sauce well.
- Simmer it gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. You should check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan or isn't drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.
- Bring on the beans. Drain and rinse the beans in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot, and bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry. Taste a bit of the chilli and season. It will probably take a lot more seasoning than you think. Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving. Leaving your chilli to stand is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle. Serve the Mexican Chilli with Rice, Tortilla, the Orange cut in half and the Soured Cream.
- Soured cream, tortilla, one orange and plain boiled long grain rice, to serve.