A good chilli beef recipe is like a good Italian Bolognese. Once you are happy it becomes a family staple. Our recipe has undergone many changes and improvements over the years. For example on a trip 4 years ago to Florence we kept noticing that serious food starts with what they call a soffritto, a starting point of finely chopped onions carrots and celery. We now use that in both our chilli and our Bolognese. Why? Well it works, the combination improves the flavour and is healthy. When we started using Chipotles for our hot sauce we started adding a dried Chipotle to our chilli and that works as well, the smoky richness comes out and makes the dish better. I hope you enjoy this chilli beef recipe, it has heart and goes really well with some rough sourdough or baguette bread.
Things to think about
Sides – Have a nice side salad yes of course. Use it to make a delicious burrito or wrap, yes of course, but we like the rich flavour as it is. Rice, well we don’t we think it dilutes the richness but a lot love it. Avocados oh they go so well, Good crusty bread…of course.
Starting right – I suggest just a soffritto but of course it will be richer if you use a little pancetta or streaky bacon or even a chopped chorizo. A good chilli is a layer of flavours and quite complex.
Beans – some like red beans some pinto some black beans are the only authentic bean. We have tried several beans and hey they all taste good. We generally add two beans and no further. yes I see stories of 4 bean chilli beef recipe or even 5 bean but really can you actually tell? Isn’t it a bit much and can the flavours stand out?
Beef – You can go all the way to buying a shoulder and slow cooking it then shredding but we just use a good quality ground beef. Preferably from a good butcher as supermarket beef is pumped a bit with water and stuff. Don’t got too fatty, 20% fat will give you a greasy unpalatable dish. Stick to 5 -15%. Slow cooking for 2 hours helps. If I see a recipe that says 45 minutes I wonder.
Herbs and spices – We like to use fresh thyme, they use it a lot in Mexico. Also parsley and coriander, nice fresh green. I use commercial mix, yes some might say lazy, but I grew up with it. Quality is important, ideally a USA company will have a better blend if you can get that. Schwartz are good. Steer clear of the supermarket blends there is a reason they are cheaper. A good chilli will be a bit smoky so we use Chipotle peppers plus our sauce which contains Chipotle.
Keeping it – it keeps for a week in the fridge, it freezes well. You don’t always want it two days in a row so that’s good.
A warm filling beef chilli that will become a family favourite
From my experience chicken is either roasted (UK Sunday lunch), fried (KFC) or maybe wings, or steamed, grilled, or boiled. Go to a Chinese restaurant and they may offer, stir fried or steamed. Going out to the Caribbean many years ago and meeting this amazing dish was a revelation. My pictures do not do this justice, the taste is amazing.
When I first went to the Caribbean I was amazed by the above Sunday lunch I was given. This was was very rich and filling. Chicken, macaroni pie, rice, water cress, and red beans cooked with onions and peppers. But what amazed me was this dark brown chicken which was the best chicken I ever tasted. It was amazing. I tried many ways to duplicate it but just could not get that taste. Then one day a cook showed me the Caribbean secret that comes all the way from Africa, sugar stew. I was stunned. It seemed simple, add a tbs of brown sugar to oil in a pot and then fry up the chicken (or pork or beef) in it and the caramelised sugar just enhances the dish beyond what you would imagine. But of course it was not that simple. The other key ingredient here was seasonings. Not the Western way a bit of salt and pepper, but an intense marinade made with local ingredients. The name changes, in Trinidad its just stew chicken, in Jamaica its brown stew, but the dish is unique and one of the Caribbean greatest culinary achievements
chickenChop up a small chicken into serving size pieces, remove skin where practical, separate thigh and drumstick, wing parts and chop breast into 3, and back into 3-4 pieces. put in bowl with
3 sprigsfresh Thyme
2smalltomatoes choppedmix together and leave to marinade for at least 2 hrs or overnight
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok medium heat with a good heaped dessert spoon of brown sugar. The sugar will get foamy as it melts. Ensure the sugar is caramelised, but do not let it burn, as it will taste bitter. Throw in chicken parts and stir swiftly to coat. Let simmer on high heat for a few minutes until the sauce generated is bubbling, and then lower heat to moderate and cover. After about 8-10 minutes add about a cup or so of water (usually I boil water and swirl it round in the seasoning bowl to get all the left over seasoning).Let it simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. At this point the chicken should be brown. Taste and adjust (check salt, add a tsp of dark soy and 1 tbsp of ketchup). Cook for another 5/10 minutes, stirring often. If there is too much liquid let it boil down a bit, but you do need sauce with the chicken. The sauce should be brown and syrupy and coat the chicken when stirred. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with white rice, macaroni pie, mash or even pasta and a side salad.
Keyword brown stewed chicken, Caribbean Chicken, stewed chicken
This dish known in the Caribbean as Buljol is one of the best snacks, either for breakfast or in an evening as a late supper. Its light and healthy and is show above with a Caribbean speciality sometimes called bakes sometimes called floats. In Mexico it might be called avocado salsa salad without tomatillos as they usually serve it with these hard to find green fruits. We show it with bakes but it can be served with crackers, toast or even fresh baguette. This is a world class dish, worthy of a Michelin star restaurant.
Buy our scotch bonnet sauce to make this dish come alive with flavour CLICK HERE
Avocado Salsa Salad
A delicious avocado salad with healthy salt cod protein makes a complete meal
salt and black pepper plus 1 tsp scotch bonnet sauce
For SalsaCodfish varies a lot, try to get boneless because its so much easier although slightly less flavor. Some Tesco’s have it on the International counter. It may be enough to soak in boiling water for 15 minutes or you may need to boil, depends on how much salt. Drain and shred to make avocado salsa salad.Skin and finely chop 3-4 tomatoes and mix with finely chopped onion, garlic and hot peppers, and add to salt fish. Add avocado cut into cubes, and salt and pepper (may not need salt if fish still salty) , then mix with squeezed lemon or lime and virgin olive oil and Ooft! Scotch Bonnet hot sauce. Let it sit for a while for the flavours to mix and then serve as is on fried bakes, toast, fresh rolls or even crackers.
Bakes Fried bakes are made with flour, salt, baking powder and water much like a roti. Let the softish mixture sit for 1 hour and then tear off egg sized pieces and flatten and deep fry in about 1/2 inch or more hot oil. Spoon hot oil over the flattened bake to make it puff up. Fry until lightly brown and put in a tissue lined bowl to drain.
Keyword avocado salsa salad, bacalau, buljol, salt cod
What do we expect when we use a buffalo sauce recipe? The crispiest wings and the tastiest sauce would be my answer. Try this way. The dip is hot and flavourful with a rich smooth taste that gets to you, and after you have eaten one, you will be back for more… and more. We baked our chicken for a healthier snack, 4 wings is only about 200 kc. OK its not diet food but frying it doubles the trouble. 🙂
Whether you fry or bake is your choice but this buffalo sauce recipe is special, I have tried so many and they disappointed.
Our scotch bonnet is great for wings, buy it by clicking below
We always used to fry our wings, to get that crispy outer coating we would dredge them in cornflour and season. But recently I was reading a blog called recipe tin eats and I tried a method the lady recommended and I have to say it works and will be our go to wings from now on.
Buffalo Wings and Sauce
Everyone's favourite snack. This version uses slow baked wings for a healthier option
3tbsp.rich stock (we use dripping stock from roast chicken)
Dry the wings using kitchen towel and then place in a bowl and for 1 kg of wings add 5 tbsp of baking powder and 1 tsp of salt and paprika. Stir this by hand until all coated and then take a wire rack and oil it (otherwise chicken will stick), then place the wings on it back up. place in fridge overnight. Now I had no room in my fridge for this so I did all the first steps then just put the bowl in the fridge covered overnight and it worked really well, the next day I spread them on oiled rack.The clever bit comes now. Bake them at 120C for 30 minutes and then increase heat to 180 for 30-40 minutes depending on wing size and oven, I took mine out after 35. I have to say they were super crispy and tasty. The slow cooking at first helps to render the large amount of fat in wings so they end up healthier.
In saucepan, melt butter slowly, add shallots, garlic and sauté for 3 minutes until transparent. Add brown sugar honey and rum and heat through, then add other ingredients and cook for 5 minutes and keep warm until ready to serve.
Serving the wings and sauce
The traditional way to serve these wings is shaken in a bowl with a lid ( or a bag) with the buffalo sauce recipe, but for a party the presentation above might work out better. When coated the wings are very sticky and fingers get very stick eating them. So lets say 6 kids and your whole furniture and walls will have sticky marks all over ! Just fair warning 🙂
Keyword buffalo wings, chipotle, hot wings, wings sauce
This delicious a healthy vegetarian burger is pure heaven. You will be surprised that this tastes so good. My husband and son were like sour faced when i told them what was for dinner. but when they tasted it they were amazed and both said it was great and they loved it.
Chipotle butternut squash and bean burger
This is a delicious hamburger made from healthy beans and squash plus of course our hot Chipotle sauce. Even our kids loved it (of course we didn’t tell them it was vegetarian ..smile. But seriously give it a try.
Squash and Bean Burger
Oats, Quinoa, flax, Cannellini bean and squash make this burger so tasty yet so healthy
2flax egg (2tbs ground flaxseed mixed with 6tbs hot water. Sit for 15 mins.
2/3 cuprolled oats
2spring onions finely chopped
salt and pepper
This is a delicious burger made from healthy beans and squash plus of course our hot Chipotle sauce. Even our kids loved it (of course we didn’t tell them it was vegetarian ..smile. But seriously give it a try.Blend the butternut squash, shallots and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to form a dough.Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and shape them into patties. Place the burgers on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes.When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375ºF.Add the vegetarian burgers to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Garnish *Cabbage slaw (mayo, ooft and zest of lime or lemon. *sliced tomato *Lettuce *Ooft mayo and chipotle sauce to garnish.Serve immediately.
Keralan cooking uses a mild sophisticated mix of spices and is ideal for a western palate LINK TO KERALA PAGE
This rich almost sumptuous seafood rice biryani is a speciality of the region. The addition of saffron at the assembly stage helps create the multi colour you often see in Indian restaurants who often use colouring to achieve this.
Goes really well with our aged hot sauce click button below to order
In Kerala they are so close to the ocean that the seafood is the freshest. This is my take extracting from several sauces starting with Rick Stein but adding from local blog sources in Kerala. Its a lovely meal and not that hard to produce
500gmwhite fish filletsfirm fish, hake is good and inexpensive
1tspcoriander, chilli flakes or powder, hot sauce, salt, turmeric
2tspginger garlic1 inch ginger and 2 garlic cloves smashed up
1handfulcoriander chopped rough
1 bay leaf
1/4cupchopped cilantro (coriander)
When making biryani
Fried Onions – Optional but nice, fry finely sliced onions in deep oil until crispy and light brown drain
SAFFRON: ½ cup warm milk and either a tsp saffron or turmeric (use at end)
Fried cashews – Optional lightly fry whole cashews and add when required
Cooking the Rice:1. Soak the rice for 30mins and drain keep it aside.2. Heat 1-2 tbsp ghee/oil in the pan ,add sliced onions ,all spices and sauté for few mins until fragrant; now add the drained rice and sauté till rice combines well with all spices.3. Boil 4 cups or so water, add to rice, and cook the rice for 8 mins (al dente). 4. When rice done drain the excess water immediately.
1. marinate the seafood with above mentioned marinate ingredients; and keep it in the refrigerator for an hour or more2. Make a paste of garlic, ginger and green chillies and set aside.3. Heat a oil in the frying pan till smoking and shallow fry the seafood (you want it hot so the prawns and fish get a slight char) this should be very quick you don’t want the seafood to cook through just a char and out onto a plate;4. In same frying pan, add thinly sliced onion to left over oil and saute until it is translucent,add the ginger,garlic,green chilli paste, and tomato chopped,now add chopped corainder, and combine well.5. Add briyani masala,turmeric powder,red chilli powder,coriander powder,salt to taste and cook slow for 10 minutes6. Add fried seafood and juices and mix well; if the gravy dry then add 3tbs of water.7. Cover & Cook on low flame for about 3 mins and adjust salt.
1. Preheat oven to 180 degree C.2. In a oven proof dish, grease your cooking dish and spread 1/3 of the rice, then half the seafood and then more rice and the rest of seafood then top with rice3. Sprinkle first two layers with, fried cashews, raisins, fried onions and chopped coriander leaves, after finishing sprinkle left over ghee and few drops of saffron milk over the rice as the final layering.4. Close with tight fitting heat resistant lid or close it with aluminium foil, crimp along the side and and bake it for 20 mins.5. When it is done, remove and keep the dish covered until serving.
Keyword biryani, kerala seafood, seafood biryani, seafood rice
Recipe for Chipotle Chicken Burrito kindly provided by Chef Martin Sweeney
Chef Sweeney a regular contributor to Loch Lomond Food and Drink Festival – LINK
You come home from work tired and not to keen to cook. In the fridge you have some chicken breast and salad.. Boeeing idea burrito. Its healthy, its quick, its tasty and its filling plus it takes a few minutes. This is the dish for you. You have a family, wow guess what kids love this. Success, make eat and collapse, day done.
Chipotle Chicken Burrito
There is nothing as good for a quick healthy meal than a burrito Top Chef Martin Sweeney sent us this delicious version
Marinade the breast strips in the lime juice and hot sauce, season with salt and pepper, allow to sit for 10 mins.Roughly slice the lettuce and mix with mayonnaise and lime zest, salt and pepper to tasteMake the tomato salsa by mixing the tomatoes, coriander, red onion and season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lime juice (add a few drops on Ooft! If you like a spicy salsa)Drain and dab dry on kitchen towel and in a hot pan with cooking oil fry for 2 minutes on each side till golden and cooked through.Warm the tortillas in a microwave for a minute.Build the chipotle chicken burrito starting with the lettuce and mayonnaise on the bottom, chicken on top of that and topping it off with the tomato salsa and some chopped coriander. Drizzle a little extra Ooft! On top and foldIf you want more protein then melt some cheese over it before rollingServe with a wedge of limeYou might like to try, cabbage instead of lettuce for more crunch, or add sliced sweet peppers
From the warm shores of the Caribbean comes this exceptional poultry curry. Easy to make and so tasty and healthy.
The sweetness of the aubergine lends itself to this dish in a way you just can’t forget. Eggplant are a healthy addition to many dishes; they are high in antioxidants and vitamins and minerals, while also being low in calories and salt- but their flavour is what makes this chicken and aubergine curry.
1smallchicken (or 3 or 4 whole legs)chopped into bit size pieces
1goodsprig thymeleaves pulled off
1inchgingerpeeled and fine chopped
salt and pepper
2 tbspcurry powdermix with water
1/2tspturmericmix with water
2Eggplantchop when ready to use (goes black if left in air too long
salt pepper sugar (1tsp)
Marinade: Chop onions, garlic, and coriander finely, also mix all ingredients in the marinade in a large bowl or container, massaging together. Seal and leave overnight in the fridge, or at least 2-3 hours before cooking. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
Curry mix is water plus curry powder and turmeric mixed to pasteIn a large pan or wok, heat up oil on med-high heat until hot then add sliced onion, and cook until browned on edges only(around 10 minutes). Add your curry mix to the pan also and the curry leaves without steeping water. Turn the heat up to high and continuously stir. Let the spices and onions cook until fragrant and consistency turns grainy (3 minutes).Once grainy, add your chicken from the marinade, reserving seasoning left behind in the container. Stir to coat, and then cover for 5 minutes, stirring every other minute. Meanwhile, chop aubergine in half lengthways, and slice thinly (or to preference) along each half. Add aubergine after the 5 minutes, as well as the 3 tomatoes chopped roughly. Add sugar, salt and pepper, and a dash (or to desired heat) of Ooft! Scotch Bonnet. Reduce to med-high heat.Add a 1½ cup of water to the seasoning container, to catch all of the leftover seasoning. Add this to the curry chicken and cook for a final 30-45 minutes, until chicken is cooked and curry is to desired consistency. Taste and season to preference. (Optional: add ¼ tsp roasted cumin and mix through to finish)
serve with cucumber sliced and seasoned with coriander, salt and pepper and squeeze lemonAlternative: Add in 2 potatoes chopped with aubergine for a different take!
Since arriving in the Uk we have always made crab curry and dumplings (a Tobago speciality) with brown crabs. But now we have discovered velvet swimmer crabs a good alternative if you can get them. They are inexpensive and eco friendly (apparently they breed rapidly and the ocean is full of them). But for us the big thing is how sweet they are and how easy to get the flesh out by biting through the legs and claws. Brown crabs have hard shells so you need to crack the claws with a pliers or rolling pin before cooking otherwise your guests cannot get all the goodness inside.
8 live spinner crabs made enough for 4 people and at £5 for 8 that’s an economical meal. If you use Brown then you will need one each about £10. Curry crab and dumplings is one of the worlds great dishes. It will rarely be served in restaurants as eating it is so messy but half the fun.
In the USA lobster country Massachusetts and North the restaurants are prepared the staff give you huge bibs and bowls of water to wash your fingers, but the UK just isn’t there at all.
Its important to use uncooked crabs. We get all our shellfish from The Berwick Shellfish company LINK TO WEBSITE
As you can see in the photo these crabs make a lovely meal which goes so well with the bland wholesomeness of simple dumplings made with plain four salt sugar and water.
Caribbean Curry Crab Recipe (for 4)
This meal is a must if you visit Tobago. In Trinidad they use land crabs, sold at the roadside by small boys on long poles about 6-8 to a bunch. In the UK we use medium brown crabs or swimmer crabs. It is essential they are live crabs, hard to get in the UK unless you know a fisherman.
This goes well with our scotch bonnet hot sauce. Buy that by clicking below
4mediumlive crabs Its not nice to kill crab, we put ours in freezer for about an 30/60 minutes to dull their senses. Take off the top shell with a knife and split the crabs in two and clean everything soft away until your left with two halves. Crack the large claws (called gundies in Trinidad) with a rock or pestle.
salt and black pepper and teaspoon of curry powder
1inchfresh ginger chopped
1tbspcurry powder mixed to a paste with water
3/4cupshalf and half coconut milk and water
water to mix to a dough
After a time for the seasoning to get into the meat (at least 2 hours but can be overnight).Heat oil in a pot and add 1 tbsp. curry powder mixed to a paste with water. Let cook down a little to gain fragrance and then add the crab and stir gently. After about 5 minutes add a cup of Heineken or similar lager, water and coconut milk. About maybe a pint or so all together, enough to cover. Add 1-2 teaspoon of sugar. Turn down heat and simmer for twenty minutes, uncover and reduce at high heat until gravy thickens, also add a bit more coriander chopped.
While the crab is cooking take a pound of plain flour and add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar, mix with water to form a firm dough. roll to a cylinder about 1-5 inches and slice into pieces to make about 10-12 dumplings. Add to boiling salted water and boil for 20 minutes then drain.
Put dumplings on plate and spoon crab over. This is a messy but satisfying meal where the real taste is in the dumplings and gravy and any crab you can suck is a bonus really.
Keyword caribbean crab, curry crab, curry crab and dumpling
Salted Cod is a very old Scottish tradition dating back to the Vikings. There is a great company in the Shetland Isles making quality salted fish, and I urge you to try and use this truly great food. Before fridges this kind of food was a staple in Scotland and it deserves to return to the table. Shetland Salt Cod link. The Shetland company makes hard dried cod, but there are also other sources of salt cod easier to use online at Amazon. I actually prefer a softer fish that is popular in Spain and Portugal. The hard fish needs 24 hours soaking. The photo below is of one we use often
Go to France or Spain and everywhere you look is salted fish. But over here it is very difficult to find and often poor quality. The Shetland Salt Fish is top of the line and worth a try. Many people want to reduce their red meat intake but struggle to find alternatives. This keeps well in the fridge (we keep salt fish for up to 3 months), is quick and easy to prepare and tastes truly amazing. Our two sons love this healthy meal.
This salt cod recipe comes from Bermuda and is used by most families as a brunch or late breakfast on Sundays. I used to go to my old friend Eugene Harvey house where his mother cooked for about 20 children and aunts and uncles and cousins. Their house overlooked the Bermuda Sound, clear blue waters. This dish sounds odd, but the combination of flavours is stunning. When you eat this you are eating a bit of Bermuda!
If you are going to Bermuda this site tells you where to eat this and also gives an alternative salt cod recipe – Bermuda Breakfast
Available in most supermarkets and online stores
Bermuda Breakfast – Salt Cod Recipe
In Bermuda they have created a unique delicious and healthy meal usually served Sunday as a brunch
250gmSalted Codfish (soaked overnight in water 250 gm serves about 4)
1lblarge new potatoes or waxy potatoes
1tinplum tomatoes (try to get good quality)chopped
salt and black pepper
Put the potatoes, codfish and eggs in a big pot and boil until potato done (about 15 minutes)Drain and separate Meanwhile take a frying pan and cook the onions, peppers and garlic slowly until soft and transparent. Add tinned tomato’s chopped or rough blend with sugar and cook covered on low heat for 15 minutes or so. Then add flaked fish and salt and pepper to taste. The salt fish will add plenty salt so be careful with salt.
Put potato, sliced banana, slice of avocado, and halved egg on plate and spoon fish and tomato mixture on side. Liberally sprinkle codfish mix with our Ooft! Hot SauceIt is important to eat a little of each and you will be amazed how these flavour complement each other
Keyword bacalao, Bermuda breakfast, caribbean salt cod