Luxury Slow Chilli

A 24 hour recipe for a deeply flavoured dish.

I’ve been prowling the internet for recipes for a pulled beef chilli con carne, and decided to take parts from the recipes that sounded good, and remix them into the dish I describe here.

This is not a cheap dish. I have spent far too much money on the ingredients, but for the amount of ingredients, it will hopefully go a long way.

The Ingredients

  • 6 Dried Arbol Chillies
  • 3 Dried Ancho Chillies
  • 4 Dried Chipotle Chillies
  • 2 Dried Pasilla Chillies
  • 2 Fresh Jalapeño Chillies
  • 2 Kg Beef Brisket
  • 800ml Passata
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Red pepper
  • 1 beef stock pot
  • 440ml lager
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp Dried Oregano
  • 3 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • Tabasco
  • 50g diced chorizo

The Method

This recipe is a slow chilli; it takes time. A lot of time.

The first step is to create a chilli paste from the dried chillies. TO do this, deseed and chop all of the dried chillies. Heat a pan and add the chillies, constantly stirring, this may start to smoke, do not inhale, less you want a lung transplant (it burns, i wore a face mask). Once the chillies have been in the pan for 5–10 minutes, pour over 400ml water and simmer for another 10 minutes. Now blend this concoction until you have a smooth dark paste and leave to cool for a few minutes

Deseeding and chopping the chillies.
Stewed Chillies
Chilli Paste

Cut the Brisket into 4 roughly-equal portions, and score each with a shallow diamond pattern. Now comes the sensual rub part. Rub black pepper, sea salt and smoked paprika into the meat. Once the meat is salted, peppered and paprika’d (yea i know its not a word, leave me alone), take a tablespoon of the chilli paste and rub that into one of the hunks of meat, then do the same for the other 3. Seal the meat in a ziplock bag, and leave to refrigerate overnight.

Juicy brisket.
Peppered, Salted, Scored and covered in paprika.
Chilli paste rubbed into the beef.

After a good nights sleep, it’s time to take those beautiful hunks of beef and brown them. Heat up a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil, and once hot, fry each of the 4 sections, fry until they start to turn to a dark brown caramelised colour. I also dabbed them off before frying to remove excess chilli paste. Once fried, deglaze the beautiful beefy juices with half a lager (i did this at 830 in the morning, it was strange to open a beer so early on a workday!) then add the beery beefy goodness to a saucepan for use later.

Beautiful Browned Brisket.

Now come the vegetables! finely chop (manually or with a blender) a red onion, 5 garlic cloves, a red pepper and 2 fresh jalapeños. Add the vegetables to a hot frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Sweat these until soft, mix in all of the spices and herbs, then added 50g diced chorizo and keep cooking on a lower heat for a few minutes, before adding to the saucepan with the beer-beef juice. now deglaze the vegetable residue with the rest of the lager, and add to the saucepan.

Now the vegetables are done, its time to turn them into the sauce. add the passata to the saucepan with the vegetables and simmer for for 10 minutes, then add a beef stock pot and the rest of the chilli paste. After another 10 minutes, it’s time to go slow.

Tomato sauce with the dark, rich chilli paste just added.

Now its time to put the beef and the sauce into a slow cooker on a high setting for 8 hours. I added cocoa nibs here to boost the chocolatey depth. This nearly overflowed in my 5L Crockpot, so be careful!

Chilli starting to slow cook.

Over 8 hours, keep tasting the sauce and adjust where appropriate. I ended up adding some garlic granules, lots of salt, paprika, coriander and a small squirt of French’s american mustard to add a little sharpness. With 3 hours to go, i added another pepper (yellow this time) to add a little bit of sweetness and texture.

After a whole 7 hours in the slow cooker, it’s time to pull apart the beef. Remove the beef from the sauce and lay out on a chopping board or similar surface, then pull apart using forks (I had some meat claws to hand that were made for pulled meats, maybe i just wanted to pretend to be wolverine!).

Once the meat is pulled apart, return to the sauce, and mix thoroughly, leaving it for the final hour of cooking. I also took the opportunity to add more salt, this helped drive the flavour into the pulled beef.

Beefy slabs removed from the slow cooker.
The beef, once pulled apart.
The beef returned to the sauce.

After the sauce had finished its long journey to deliciousness, it was time to serve. I made a quick batch of basmati rice (cooking rice is an art, and worthy of its own series of articles!). Adding the chilli, rice, some cheese and a sprig of coriander completed the dish.

The final dish. Forgive the hot pink bowl!

This took a long time, but it was worth it. This is a dish with deep fruity chilli flavours, a rich meaty experience that i cant wait to pair with a variety of side dishes. This is one to repeat.

Technical Architect at AllSaints. Often seen playing with software.

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