As the nights get darker, and the temperature starts to drop, I begin to think about stocking up my freezer for the winter. Soups, stews, sauces and casseroles are all wonderful things to have waiting for you at the end of a long day at work, especially when they only need to be heated up. It takes a little bit of planning, but if you can make too much of a recipe once a week and freeze the leftovers into portions, you will have a freezer full of comforting home cooking in no time!
My first winter-warming recipe has to be chilli. It’s so versatile and can be served in tacos or tortillas, over a baked potato, or just in a big bowl with rice, salad, grated cheese and sour cream. There are a million recipes for chilli, but we really like this one because it uses chunks of stewing beef rather than minced beef, and the addition of smoky chorizo really gives it another level of flavour. The long slow cooking process is great for a lazy Sunday afternoon, and the delicious smells that fill your home will have your family wondering when will it be ready!
Adapted from Olive’s Best-Ever Chilli (Olive Magazine)
- olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 3 red chillies, seeded and chopped
- 1.2 kg lean braising steak, cubed
- 175 g chorizo, diced
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 600 ml beef stock
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
- 400 g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 50 g dark chocolate (70%), chopped
- sour cream, avocado, tomato, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce and rice to serve
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large, deep casserole dish, add the onions and cook until soft but not coloured. Add garlic and chillies and cook for a minute. Remove mixture from the pan and put on a plate.
- Heat another tbsp of oil in the pan and brown the beef in batches, then add to plate. Add chorizo and quickly brown on all sides.
- Return the beef and onion mixture to the pan, add tomato puree and spices. Cook for 1 minute before adding the stock, vinegar, sugar and tomatoes. Season, stir well and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat to a gentle simmer, cover with a lid and continue to cook on low for 1.5 hours, or until beef is very tender. Add kidney beans and cook another 30 minutes. Add the chocolate and stir until melted.
- Serve with rice, lettuce, tomato, avocado, shredded cheddar and sour cream.