Chilli is one of the singletons staple meals, but with a bit of imagination (and a little more dosh) can be upgraded into a great date night feast, especially on winter evenings when you have an excuse to snuggle up afterwards. (Dont be too heavy handed with the spice you want to be able to taste the flavours, not melt your molars!)
4 tbsp vegetable oil
500g/1lb 2oz diced beef steak (best quality you can afford)
500g/1lb 2oz minced beef (best quality you can afford)
1 white onion (finely chopped)
1 red onion (finely chopped)
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 dried chipotle chilli
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp brown sugar (the lighter kind is best)
2 400g/14oz tins of tomatoes (chopped)
500m/17fl oz beef stock
1 400g/14oz tin of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 400g/14oz tin of black-eyed beans (drained and rinsed)
salt (flakes) and block pepper
75g/3oz good quality plain chocolate, chopped
How to make
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large, lidded pan (one with a heavy base is best).
Fry the beef steak until browned all over. You may need to fry in batches, lifting each batch out with a slotted spoon. Put the beef steak to one side.
Add another tablespoon of oil and fry the minced beef until browned. Take out the mince and put to one side with the steak.
Add the remaining oil and fry the onions and celery until the onions have softened (but not browned) about 3-4 minutes.
Add the chipotle chilli, chilli flakes, chilli powder and oregano and stir until well combined. Cook for another couple of minutes.
Return the beef to the pan, then add the sugar, chopped tomatoes, stock, kidney beans and black-eyed peas. Stir well and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cover and simmer for 2-3 hours. (You could also transfer to a casserole dish and cook in a pre-heated oven at 140C/280F/Gas 1 for 2-3 hours).
Serve with rice, crusty bread or a baked potato.
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