Mexican Chilli Beef Recipe
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.
- 500 gm ground beef
- 1 Onion Large chopped
- 5 Garlic cloves chopped
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1 large sweet pepper (or two medium) rough chopped 1 x 1 inch
- 2 dried chipotle
- 1 box mushrooms (300-350gm) rough chopped
- 1 tbsp chilli powder mild
- 2 tsp chilli powder hot
- 1 tbs salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tp black pepper ground
- stock cube or 2 tbs of home made
- 2 tins plum tomato chopped
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 tins Beans (black or kidney, or pinto or..)
- 1 tbs Ooft! Chipotle sauce
- 1 large Bay leaf
- 5 sprigs thyme or 2 tsp dried.
- 1 small bunch coriander and parsley chopped
- Finely chop the celery, carrot and onion and sweat in olive oil (1 tbs) for 10-15 minutes until onions soft on medium to low heat. (soffritto)
- Push to one side increase heat to high and add beef to brown. If it throws water let that steam off and then combine with soffritto
- add sweet pepper, tinned tomato ( I usually rinse the tins out with a couple of tabs of hot water and add) and turn heat to medium
- Add, stock, chilli powders, salt, pepper, thyme bay leaf parsley, coriander, dried chipotle and Ooft! tinned beans (drained) mushrooms and tomato paste, sugar and garlic
- Stir and let cook on low heat (I use a 3 but for you ?) for two hours checking and stirring occasionally. Taste adjust seasoning and serve with crusty bread.