I’d seen a recipe for a chilli that used braising steak ages ago — forgive me, I can’t remember where — but had been too scared to try it because every time I tried to put beef or steak in something it was tough and dry and unforgiving. After the success of my amazing Winter Pie, I decided to use an adapted method from that recipe to get delicious, soft, tender strips of braising steak in a rich and hearty chilli.
There’s something satisfying about taking this hunk of meat, stripping it of fat and cutting into strips that you’ll add to a potion of spices and liquids to create something that makes you feel good and happy when you eat it. It’s like magic. Everyday, commonplace magic. I think that’s why I like cooking so much — it’s as close to being Hermione as I’ll ever get.
Anyway, enough of the pretension. Let’s cook!
- 1 very large red onion (or 2 medium ones), cut into large chunks
- 800g braising steak, sliced into strips
- 1 tablespoon of oregano
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- Balsamic vinegar
- Vegetable stock cube
- A bay leaf
- 3 peppers in different colours, sliced into strips
- Two large handfuls of mushrooms, roughly chopped
- A red chilli, deseeded and diced
- A can of baked beans
- A can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- A can of tomatoes
- Brown rice, to serve
- Coriander leaves, to serve (optional)
- Add the onion, braising steak, oregano, cumin and a glug of balsamic vinegar to a large pan. Stir to coat the meat. Cover with boiling water, sprinkle in a vegetable stock cube and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover. Lower to a simmer and let bubble away for 1.5 hours, checking every 30 minutes and topping up with water if necessary. Remove the bay leaf
- When the beef is cooked, fry the mushrooms and the peppers in a large, deep frying pan until soft. Throw in the chilli and fry for a few minutes more
- Tip in the tomatoes, baked beans and kidney beans into the frying pan. Remove the beef and onion from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and add to the pan. Fill the tomatoes can with the cooking juices from the beef saucepan, swirl it around and add to the frying pan
- Bring the chilli to the boil and let it simmer vigorously for around 10-20 minutes, until reduced to your ideal thickness
- Serve with brown rice and garnish with coriander if desired