Chilli is one of those dishes that warms you up just thinking about it! The deliciously spiced sauce (that can be as hot as you like) is comfort in a bowl. It is a perfect family meal but it is also the ideal dish to serve to a crowd. You can make it in advance and if need be freeze it then simply re-heat and serve with all the accompaniments I have suggested below. I honestly can’t think of anything more perfect for a cold day, than a giant pot of simmering chilli.
When you first look through the list of ingredients, there may be a couple that surprise you, however don’t be put off! The first one is the chipotle pepper (which is actually a dried and smoked jalapeno) and if you can get these then it really is worth the effort. The chilli adds a real depth of flavour with its smoky, chocolate tones that is delicious. If you can’t get the chipotle pepper then you could add a little cocoa powder to add a little extra depth to the chilli, but I promise you won’t be disappointed if you go to the extra effort to track down the chipotles!
The second ingredient that may sound a little strange is the can of Campbell’s condensed tomato soup. This is what my mum uses to make chilli and it always tasted amazing. I have added some extra ingredients – spices mainly – but I have stuck with the soup! I appreciate that it is in no way authentic but I have tried making chilli both ways, using tinned tomatoes and secondly with the soup, and every time I have served the soup version people love it! When I tested it myself my preference was definitely the soup sauce so try it and see for yourself – you will be pleasantly surprised!
The recipe below serves 4 since I often make this during the week, however it is very easily (and successfully) doubled or tripled. If you want to make it more substantial serve it with rice.
1 dried, smoked chipotle pepper
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
500g extra lean ground beef
2-3 tbsp of chilli powder (depending on the heat of your chilli powder & how spicy you like it)
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cumin
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 can of Campbell’s condensed tomato soup
250ml/ 1 cup beef stock
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Salt & black pepper
420g can of kidney beans
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Spring onions, thinly sliced
Grated Cheddar Cheese
If you have a dried, smoked chipotle pepper re-hydrate it in a small bowl with boiling water while you start cooking the chilli.
In a large pan heat the oil then sauté the onions over a medium heat for 5 minutes until they have softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before adding the mince. Cook until the mince has browned stirring frequently to break it up into small pieces.
Once the mince has browned add the chilli powder, ground coriander, cumin, cayenne pepper and oregano and stir well until the mince is evenly covered in the spices. Cook for another minute or so then add the soup, beef stock, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. If using the chipotle pepper, remove from the water and finely chop. Add to the chilli, stir well then cover and leave to simmer gently for 45minutes to 1 hour, until the sauce has reduced and thickened and all the flavours have intensified. Add the kidney beans and the red and green peppers and cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes. Just before serving sprinkle in the coriander.
Serve in bowls with extra coriander and all of the above accompaniments for a delicious and hearty meal.