I’ve Got Chilli… It’s Multiplying… And I’m losing control!
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I’m sure you’ve all been there… you set out to make a giant paella for a drinks party but accidentally end up making the world’s largest vat of chilli. No? Just me? [Actually, there were two giant chillis – one beef and one vegetarian… both oversized (and there’s enough for a second party in my freezer)(just to be clear, the party won’t be in my freezer, but the chilli is there)(yes, the chilli is chilly, ho-ho, move on…).]
I’ve probably broken one of Life Is A Cabernet’s founding principles in using a lyric rather than a song/show title for the pun. However, the opening line to the Grease hit You’re The One That I Want is probably just as famous as the the title – and we’ve already shoe-horned the title into our You’re The One Za’atar Want post, where you can read more about the song and film/show. In fact, we’ve already done so many Grease-themed posts, that Georgina has even devised an entire Grease party!
This dish was inspired by Thomasina Myers’ Chilli Con Carne recipe from her book Mexican Food, combined with Tom Kerridge’s method for pulled slow-cooked beef brisket from his Best Ever Dishes book (I also used his quantities, which might explain me losing control of the number of portions!). Myers’ recipe called for ancho chillies and chiles de arbol. Although UK stores are starting to sell a better range of chillies, these aren’t always easy to find. However, my supermarket did stock an ancho chilli paste (with guajillo and pasilla!) which was pretty good.
I also tried to make things easier for myself but roasting the onions as wedges along with the chorizo – not only did this reduce prep time by reducing the amount of chopping, it also saved time standing at the hob frying and made use of the oven already being on to cook the beef. Of course, how much of a chilli kick you give this is down to you – I prefer to cater for the lowest common denominator (in terms of chilli tolerance) and provide options for spicing things up for the chilli fans (in this case, a purée of fresh chillis to be stirred in if desired by the guest).
Put the beef stock (I used fresh but, whatever…) in a baking tray with the brisket joints on a roasting rack, covering the tray with foil. Roast at 150C for about 6 hours, keeping an eye on the liquid level (add water if it’s evaporating – although I didn’t need to add any in the end). Leave to rest for 25 minutes before shredding, having thrown away any remaining fat. Keep the juices from the tray, however.
Meanwhile, cut the onions into wedges and the chorizo into bite-size pieces and add them to another roasting tray along with the garlic. Add these to the oven in the last hour or so of the beef’s cooking time, but they should be done after about 45 minutes – you’re looking for the onions to be nicely caramelised and the chorizo cooked through. Pour away the fat, crush the roasted garlic with a fork and set the tray aside.
While the beef is resting, add the tinned tomatoes to a large pan or casserole dish, along with the onions, chorizo, garlic, spices, ancho chilli paste, ketchup, sugar, oregano and vinegar and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the beans and shredded beef. If needed, add some more water or stock until the consistency is to your liking, season well and simmer until ready to serve.
I served this with some freshly made easy guacamole (mashed up avocado and chopped tomatoes with a squeeze of lime juice and seasoning – or check out Av’cado Danced All Night for a more thorough recipe) and plain boiled rice.