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Mum's Special Chilli

A heaped bowl of chilli is the ultimate comfort food and very easy and cheap to make, especially if you have a few mouths to feed. Freeze any left-overs as it's even nicer the second time around.


  • 450g/1lb lean braising or stewing beef cubes

  • 15-30ml/1-2tbsp sunflower oil

  • 450g/1lb onions, peeled and finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

  • 5ml/1tsp ground cinnamon

  • 5ml/1tsp ground cumin

  • 5ml/1tsp dried oregano

  • 15ml/1tbsp red chilli flakes

  • 1 small red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped

  • 100g/4oz mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 x 400g cans red kidney beans

  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

  • 30ml/2tbsp tomato purée

  • Dash Worcestershire sauce

  • 100g/4oz good quality plain chocolate, broken into small pieces

  • Salt and freshly milled black pepper

  • Freshly chopped flat leaf parsley, to garnish


  • 1.

    Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat, in batches for 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Transfer to a large heatproof casserole dish and return to hob.

  • 2.

    Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add to the casserole with the remaining ingredients except the parsley, season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.

  • 3.

    Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and serve with potato wedges and courgettes.

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