Tasty Yum Yum Recipes 2: No-alarm Chilli


Dave's Chilli That, on Reflection, Involves No Alarms Whatsoever

I like stuff that tastes savoury and vaguely spicy, not stuff that tastes hot. Deal with it.

All quantities, when I remember to give em, are for two normal people or one gluttonous porker who should be thoroughly ashamed of himself. Caution: Does not contain beans. I hate beans. I loathe their pasty texture. Beans can fuck right off. Onwards:

Chop three or four cloves of garlic finely. Chop a big onion slightly less finely. Chop a couple of shallots somewhere in between. Get two big flat mushrooms, peel em if you like, take off the stalks and chop them about as fine as you chopped the garlic. Chop the mushrooms themselves about as big as the onions. Bunch of fresh chillies, mild as you like or hot as you can stand, I care not. Seed and chop em as per.

(You can add a finely chopped carrot if you want to bulk it out or you just still feel the need to chop things up. Knock yourself out, Sunny Jim. Who am I to tell you what do do?)

Pan-fry the garlic and the bits of mushroom stalk in olive oil until the garlic, at least, is nice and brown and crunchy. While you're doing this, brown around 250g of lean mince in the largish saucepan in which this godawful mess will ultimately percolate.

When that's done, heave the onions, shallots and chillies into the frying pan, and dump half a tin of chopped tomatoes into the saucepan with the meat. When the onions are softened, heave in the chopped mushrooms, get them coated with oil, and leave it all to fry until generally golden brown.

While that's happening, turn your attention to the trusty saucepan. Crumble in a couple of OXO cubes and add a good belt of nice strong-tasting brown beer - about as much as the water you'd have added if you mixed em up with water. Now heave in a good splash of Worcester Sauce. Now heave in a good splash of Mushroom Ketchup. Now heave in a bunch of paprika, and as much chilli powder as you desire.

Heave in the lovely garlicky, oniony, mushroomy mess from the frying pan. Fling the frying pan at the head of your valet, or major-domo, with stern instructions to give it a good clean. Give everything in the saucepan a good stir while heating till it boils furiously. Clutch your left eye in screaming agony as a gob of something shoots out of the pan and hits it.

Turn the heat down, you fool, so that it bubbles away good-humouredly and whack the lid on. Check every half a minute or so to stir the juices back in. You know you're done when you check and hardly any juices have bubbled to the top.

Now comes the hugely complicated and strenuous bit. Turn off the heat and let the saucepan stand. Ideally, it should stand for hours, overnight, even a day - so if you were planning on serving it to the ravenous horde in the next few minutes then you're fucked, quite frankly. Even so, turn off the heat and leave it to stand for as long as you possibly can. Then, before serving, reheat the mess until it's piping hot, adding a dash of nice, strong-tasting brown beer if it gets too desiccated.

Whack into a couple of bowls. Top with grated, really strong Vintage Cheddar, a sprinkle of parmesan and black pepper and paprika. (You can then stick the bowls under the grill for a bit, if feeling extra swank and poncy and don't mind the burns from forgetting the oven gloves.) Serve with tortilla chips, which you use to scoop it up and stick it in your gob.

That is all.
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