This chilli will give you a cuddle and warm your bones on the coldest of winter night. This. Is. Comfort.
A note on cooking
I encourage you to embrace a freestyle way of cooking, and use this recipe as a guide. Don’t get too caught up in measuring things exactly — you can eyeball most things.
Cooking should be relaxing, unfussy and an opportunity for you to exercise your creativity. Don’t forget to taste as you go along, and use your intuition with flavours.
Trust your instinct, on whether it needs more of this, or more of that — cook to what you like!
In a heavy based saucepan, sweat the onions with a glug of oil and knob of butter, over a low heat, with the lid on. Cook until soft and translucent.
While the onions cook, toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, smoked paprika and pepper in frying pan on a medium heat. Keep the spices moving, and take off the heat once they start smelling fragrant.
Toasting is essential for bringing the spices back to life; so don’t be tempted to skip this step. Otherwise the chilli will taste ‘flat’.
With a teaspoon of salt, grind the spices in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and set aside.
Once the onions are cooked, add the garlic and chilli, and allow to cook for a further two minutes.
Turn up the heat and add the minced meat to brown, stirring continuously.
Once the meat is nicely browned, add the ground spices, bay leaf, tomatoes, vinegar, stock and coffee. Bring to the boil, and simmer on a low heat for at least 1 hour.
The longer you can leave it the better. If you have a slow cooker, you can put it in this and leave it to cook during the day or overnight.
At the end of cooking, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce till it’s thickened—this is key, you don’t want your chilli to be running all over the plate.
Finish the chilli with a squeeze of lime, chopped coriander and season to your taste. Trust your instinct here; it may need more salt, pepper or acid, for which you can add lime juice or apple cider vinegar.