Frontera Tejana (Texan border) chilli
- March 2019
- Serves 6-8
- Hands-on time 30 min, simmering/oven time 2½-3 hours, plus soaking
Enjoy a great evening in with this Texan-style chilli recipe, Frontera Tejana, best enjoyed while watching a murder mystery western. Kay Plunkett-Hogge (food writer) and Fred Hogge (movie buff) certainly know how to put on a fabulous movie night.
- 15.7g (4.8g saturated)
- 11.9g (8.8g sugars)
- 3 dried ancho chillies (see tips)
- 4 dried chiles de árbol (see tips)
- 2 chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, plus 2-3 tbsp of the sauce (see tips)
- 1.5kg British grass-fed stewing steak, cut into 3-4cm chunks
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 fresh jalapeño chilli, deseeded and chopped
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 litre good beef stock
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1-3 tbsp cornmeal or polenta
- Freshly steamed rice, warm tortillas, coriander leaves, chilli slices and lime wedges to serve
You’ll also need…
- Heavy-based casserole with a lid
- Remove the stalk and seeds from all the dried chillies. Toast in a dry frying pan until fragrant, then transfer to a jug and soak in warm water for 30 minutes or until softened. Drain, reserving 100ml of the soaking liquid. Put in a mini food processor with the chipotles and adobo sauce and whizz, adding enough reserved chilli-soaking liquid to form a smooth paste. (Or finely chop, grind in a pestle and mortar, then stir in the liquid).
- Season the beef. Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan, then fry the meat in batches until deep brown all over, setting each batch aside in the casserole as you work.
- Turn down the heat, then cook the onion in the remaining oil until soft. Add the garlic and jalapeño. When soft, add the cinnamon, cumin and oregano. Stir in 200ml of the stock, then bubble, scraping up any bits from the pan with a wooden spoon. Add to the casserole with the remaining stock, tomatoes, cocoa, sugar and chilli paste (from step 1).
- Bring to a simmer, cover, then cook for 2 hours, stirring now and then. Uncover and simmer for 30-60 minutes more or until the meat is tender (see Make it Easier).
- Turn up the heat to medium and add the cornmeal or polenta 1 tbsp at a time, stirring after each addition, until the chilli is thickened. Season. Serve with rice, tortillas, coriander leaves, chilli slices and lime wedges.
Dried ancho chillies, dried chiles de árbol and chipotle chillies in adobo sauce are all available at souschef.co.uk. You can also buy ancho chillies in many supermarkets or use any dried chillies you can find. If you can’t find chipotles in adobo sauce, use 3 tbsp chipotle paste (widely available).
If you prefer, heat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan/gas 3 and cook for 2½-3 hours with the lid on/off as in step 4.
Cover and chill for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat.
A cold lager or fine Chilean syrah.
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