Sunday, 25 November 2012

Thomasina Mier's Fruity Chilli

I’m constantly tearing out recipes from magazines, saving or pinning online recipes and taking notes during TV shows of dishes I want to try and this weekend I finally made one I’ve had earmarked for a while.

Being a big fan of Wahaca, when Thomasina Miers’ Mexican Food Made Simple aired, I was avidly viewing week by week and one of the recipes she prepared that I really liked the look of was for a fruity chilli. After a bit of online digging and having to re-watch the episode via  Channel 5 Online yesterday afternoon, I took note of all of the ingredients, decided to omit from using banana and pear and popped out to get the remainder of the ingredients I didn’t already have in my brother’s stock cupboard, where I’ve been staying for a few nights.

I made a large batch, to freeze half for a pre-prepared mid-week meal, and the rest fed four of us comfortably. Combining both lean steak and pork mince, and with a sauce flavoured with charred vegetables and chipotle the end result was rich, smoky and delicious – a perfect warming, winter meal. I served it with rice, homemade salsa and guacamole, sour cream and some tortilla chips.

Here’s How:

500g each of lean steak and lean pork mince
2 large onions
6 large tomatoes
2 bell peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1 large red chilli
2 apples, peeled and chopped into cubes
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons of raisins or dried fruit
Heaped tsp of each of the following: ground cinnamon, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper
2 cloves
2 tablespoons of oregano (I used dried as couldn’t get hold of any fresh and it was fine)
75 chipotle paste
50 ml chicken stock
1 tin of red kidney beans

First off, whack the oven up to a high heat, and place on a baking sheet the tomatoes, peppers and the onions roughly chopped. Place them into the oven until the skin is blackened, then leave to one side to cool.

Brown off the mince and whilst it’s cooking, place the charred vegetables into a blender and blitz until liquidised – the blackened vegetables will give this basis of your sauce a great, smoked flavour. Now you need to add the flavours – add all of your herbs and spices, garlic and chilli along with the chipotle paste and blitz once more.

Once browned, transfer the mince to a saucepan, then cover with your sauce and stir through thoroughly. Next add your apples and raisins (and if you wish to stick to Thomasina’s recipe your pear and banana) and the chicken stock and kidney beans and stir again. Now place on a moderate heat for 45 minutes-an hour.

In the meantime prepare your salsa by finely chopping 2 tomatoes, 1 red onion and 1 chilli and a tsp of sun-dried tomato paste in a small bowl or ramekin. Pour in some garlic infused olive oil and then leave to intensify as the chilli is cooking.

For the guacamole, in a mortar, place a finely chopped red onion, chopped red chilli and 1 clove of garlic with 2 chopped avocadoes and some fresh coriander and grind with the pestle till you’re left with a fairly chunky texture. Next add the juice of 1 lime and add a pinch of salt and pepper then grind again. Just before serving, mix in some freshly chopped coriander.

Finally cook your rice to the packet instructions, or if you prefer jacket potatoes, and once cooked, plate up with a spoonful each of the salsa, guacamole and sour cream with a bowl of moreish tortillas in the middle of the table, and some grated cheddar cheese for a seriously satisfying, fiery, yet smoky meal.  It might not look very glam, but when it’s cold outside, this kind of a meal is balm, to whoever you’re feeding.

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