Monday, September 26

Smoked Mackerel & Horseradish Pâté, Pickled Cucumber

I almost didn't blog this as it is so simple and a bit of a gastropub staple, but it is just so delicious, truly one of my favourite pâtés (if indeed it is a pâté). Really great for lunch with hot buttered toast or as a starter for a more elaborate dinner. I have also been known to have this as a late night snack but be warned......a snoring husband who smells of fish really annoys the wife.  For four:

Quality smoked mackerel - 4 fillets
Fresh horseradish, peeled & grated - 2tbsp
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Cream cheese - 100g
Parsley - small handful roughly chopped
Rice or white wine vinegar - 100ml
Sugar - 4 tbsp
Cucumber - 1
Quality sourdough and butter for spreading
Salt and pepper

Using a potato peeler, peel ribbons off the cucumber lengthways until you reach the seeds in the centre. Rotate the cucumber 90 degrees and repeat until you have 'peeled' the whole thing and are left with a core of seeds - chuck this away. In a colander lightly salt the cucumber ribbons for 30 mins, then rinse and set aside. Heat the vinegar and sugar until dissolved then allow to cool.  Taste the vinegar mix - if your vinegar is a bit acidic (by this I mean cheap!) you may need more sugar to compensate - you want a nice sweet/sour balance. Toss together the cucumber and vinegar mix and allow to marinade in the fridge for an hour or two.

Meanwhile skin and remove any bones from the mackerel. Blitz the fish, cream cheese, horseradish, lemon zest, juice, parsley and a good pinch of salt and pepper until really smooth - scrape the edges of the bowl to ensure all is really well blended. Taste and adjust the seasoning - add more horseradish as well if you feel the need.

Toast and butter your bread, drain your cucumber and serve. You can use two spoons to daintily 'quenelle' your pâté as in the photo, neatly portion into a ramekin or just blob it on the plate depending on your sensibilities.

Baked Gnocchi, Roast Tomatoes, Parmesan & Herb Cream

I love making gnocchi - I used to make hundreds in a day, each perfectly rolled on a ridged gnocchi board, all exactly the same size and shape. You will be glad to hear that I am much more rustic when I cook at home and it is ok for you to do the same - a misshapen gnocchi tastes the same as a perfect one!  Homemade gnocchi are beautifully light and delicate compared with rubbery, factory made supermarket versions.  They do take a little effort to make but if you do a big batch, they freeze very well so you can make several meals worth at once (freeze on a cling film lined tray and only bag up once they are fully frozen).

The art to getting a very light gnocchi is to add as little flour as you can get away with but still end up with a workable dough that will hold together during blanching. You need to start with dry floury potatoes such as Maris Piper and then bake rather than boil them to dry them out further. Once mastered gnocchi make a great staple with which to experiment - it is just a potato dumpling at the end of the day and works well with all manner of sauces or stews. For four:

Maris piper potato - 800g after cooking and peeling
Plain flour - 200g
Parmesan - 300g
Ripe baby tomatoes - 600g
Whipping cream - 1/2 pint tub
Rosemary & thyme - 3 sprigs of each
2 bay leaves
8 black pepper corns
Garlic - 3 cloves lightly crushed

Bake the potatoes in their skins until completely soft. Cut the potatoes in half and using a tea towel to protect your hands from the heat, scoop out the flesh onto the work surface. Break up any big bits, spread out and allow to steam and cool. While the spuds are cooling, put on a large pan of salted water to boil. Heat your oven to 220c and put the tomatoes into four small or one large ovenproof dish. Roast until the skins begin to split and some of the tomatoes take on a little colour then take out and set aside. Heat the cream, garlic, herbs and peppercorns to just below boiling and then set aside to infuse.

When the potatoes have stopped steaming but are still warm, scrape into a sieve and pass through to give a very fine mash. Mix in a large handful of the parmesan, the flour and season lightly with salt and pepper. Mix gently to form a light dough ball then tip onto a clean work surface again.  Divide the ball into 6 and roll one at a time into a sausage shape the thickness of a packet of polo mints. Dust with a little flour while you roll to stop the dough sticking. Using a blunt spatula cut off 2cm lengths from the roll with a flicking motion so that you end up with pillow shaped gnocchi. Repeat until you have cut the lot, then blanch in batches in the boiling salted water until they float to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon and leave to cool on an oiled tray while you blanch the rest.

Arrange the gnocchi in your bowl(s) with the roast tomatoes and sprinkle with half the remaining parmesan. Drain the cream through a sieve to remove the herbs etc., then spoon the cream evenly over the tomatoes and gnocchi. Top generously with the parmesan and bake at 220c until bubbling and hot.

Sunday, September 25

Pork & Pickled Mango Curry

Sounds strange, and I guess it is a bit unusual in so much as this curry uses preserved mango to give a distinctive sour mustard flavour. When I say pickled mango, I mean exactly that. If you use the sweet orange version of poppadom and chutney fame – you will go into a diabetic coma! You will need to visit an Indian supermarket to get what you need but these are everywhere. I got everything I needed at Bristol Sweet Mart in Easton, Bristol - a real treasure trove of Asian foods. I use the yellow 'Rajah' brand mild mango pickle. It has a lovely sour mustardy flavour and contains large chunks of green mango.  Serves 4

small handful of coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
10 black peppercorns
4 fat cloves garlic, crushed
3cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tbsp vegetable oil
800g pork fillet, sliced 1cm thick
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 green chilli, split down the middle, seeded if you like
½ of a 235g jar of mild mango pickle
chopped fresh coriander

Toast the spices in a dry frying pan until aromatic and grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar. Add the garlic and ginger and grind to a dryish paste called a masala – set aside.  

In a frying pan heat the oil and brown the pork. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, fry the onion for five minutes until it starts to brown. Add the masala and fry for a minute or two until the spices begin to release their aroma. Add the pork, tomatoes, the chilli, the mango pickle and a little water and simmer until the tomatoes begin to break down and the pork is just cooked – approx 10 mins. It should not be swimming in sauce but if the curry gets too dry, add a little more water.

Taste and season if necessary – you shouldn’t need any salt as the pickle will usually contain all the seasoning you need. If the curry is a little too sour for your taste, add ½ teaspoon of sugar. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander with a hot naan bread on the side along with some steamed rice.

Saturday, September 24

Baja California Fish Tacos

There is big surf in Mexico, particularly on the west coast and these are the ultimate post surf munchie – or in my case a post ‘near-drowning’ snack. Try these as a lighter alternative to a fajita and a more interesting meal than a fish finger sandwich. Makes four tortilla:

500g skinless pollock
Juice of 1 lime
50g fine corn masa or fine polenta
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chilli powder, hot or mild
2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
Handful of chopped fresh coriander
2 eggs, beaten
4 flour tortillas
Shredded lettuce or mixed leaves
Finely sliced red onion
Pickled jalapeño chillies
Sour cream
Vegetable oil

Slice the fish into goujons (long strips) approx 1 ½ cm thick and 10 cm long. Marinade in the lime juice for no more than 30 mins. Drain and toss in the egg mix. Mix the spices, salt, pepper and masa/flour together in a bowl. Heat approx 3cm of oil in a frying pan. The oil should be hot enough that when you drop in a piece of bread, it bubbles furiously. Drain the fish, and toss in the flour until lightly covered. Fry the goujons a few at a time until golden brown and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper.

Wrap a few fish goujons in a tortilla with a sprinkling of lettuce, coriander, onion and jalapeño and then dribble liberally with the sour cream. Absolutely lush….

Monday, September 19

Heritage Tomato & Buffalo Mozzarella Salad, Gazpacho

I was really hoping we would have one 'last gasp' sunny day when I could post this blog as it is the perfect summer dish, however it appears the weather gods are against me. I couldn't resist buying a bag of beautiful heritage tomatoes at the recent Abergavenny food festival but chatting to the grower, I feel that these maybe the last from the summer season. No need to be sad...autumnal braises and stews are just around the corner and I love cold season cooking.

I appreciate that you will have had numerous tomato salads before, but what elevates this one is the the quality and variety of the tomatoes (obvious really) and the gazpacho sauce which anoints each mouthful with an extra punch of tomatoey flavour. It also looks stunning and has the potential to convince your diners that you are a culinary genius - just don't tell them that it is remarkably easy to make. Try to use buffalo mozzarella or if you can get it, burrata. The flavour and texture is light years away from the industrial rubbery supermarket versions. For four as a starter or light lunch:

Heritage tomatoes, super ripe and sweet - 1kg
Vine tomatoes - 4 large
Celery - 2 sticks
Green pepper, seeded - 1/2
Garlic, peeled - 2 cloves
Passata or made tomato sauce - 100ml
Sherry vinegar - 2tbsp
Flaked chilli - a pinch
Basil, leaves picked - small handful
Stale sourdough or other quality loaf
Extra virgin - to dress
Buffalo mozzarella - 2x150g balls
Salt and crushed black pepper
Quality aged balsamic or balsamic glaze - to dress

Heat you oven to 220c. Finely slice croutons off the loaf of bread, remove crusts, oil and season then bake until golden. Set aside.

Blitz the vine tomatoes; garlic; celery; green pepper; a few basil leaves; passata; sherry vinegar and chilli in the blender until smooth. Season and add more vinegar if you think it needs it then pass through a fine sieve and set aside.

Slice your heritage tomatoes, try to cut in different ways so you get a variety of shapes in the salad. Toss in a bowl with some extra virgin, a little balsamic, some torn basil and seasoning. Toss in the croutons and mix well. Ladle a little gazpacho sauce in the bottom of a pasta bowl,  top artistically with tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle the sauce with some olive oil and more balsamic. Easy.

Saturday, September 17

Fillet Steak, Horseradish Mash, Red Wine Jus

Sometimes it is the simple things done well that give the greatest pleasure. Fine ingredients, cooked properly with little messing about - that is the essence of this dish. I have covered the cooking of steak in a previous blog so I am going to focus on the perfect mash and the sauce accompaniment. Red wine jus (RWJ) is a time consuming sauce to make....but what a sauce. In essence RWJ is a reduction of good meat stock and wine to a thick, syrupy consistency. It is powerfully flavoured and will work well with any red meat, a small spoonful added to casseroles or braises will deepen the flavour no end.

Commercial kitchens will buy in boxes of bones to make the weekly stocks. It is harmonious to use veal bones to make stocks for beef, chicken for chicken etc but for domestic purposes, I suggest you save up a load of chicken, pork and beef bones and freeze until you have a stock pot full.  A mixture of bones in the stock makes no great difference to the flavour. Once you have finished your RWJ, it will set to a thick jelly in the fridge. Cut into cubes, cling-film, freeze and you will always have RWJ to hand when required.

Onions - 2 large, skin on and halved
Celery - 1/2 head, washed and cut into 3
Leek - 1 large, washed and cut in half lengthways 
Carrots - 4 large, skin on, halved lengthways
Bones - 2 kg or as many as will fit in your stock pot
Modest red wine - 1 bottle
Fillet Steak - 4 as large as you can afford (180g each is pretty standard)
Large maris piper potatoes - 750g peeled weight
Butter - 250g
Full fat milk - 100ml
Double Cream - 100ml
Fresh horseraddish - 100g, peeled and finely grated
Salt, White and Black Pepper

Set your oven to as high as it will go. Roast the bones and the vegetables (not the spuds!) until they are a deep golden brown. Transfer to a deep stock pot leaving as much oil as possible behind in the oven tray. Drain the oil from the oven tray, add a little water and scrape off any bits in the tray as best as possible. Loads of flavour in those little bits....add the water to the stock pot. Fill your stock pot with water to just cover the bones and bring to the boil. Skim any scum that rises then set to a very low simmer, the water should barely tremble. This low simmer will result in a clear finish to your stock, a rolling boil will emulsify the fat into the stock and give a cloudy fatty end result so control your cooking heat. Also the more you skim - oil and scum - the clearer your stock. Leave to simmer all day skimming regularly, cover and leave to cool overnight. In the morning remove the bones and vegetables as gently as you can with a slotted spoon. Pass the stock through a fine sieve lined with a jey cloth then return to a cleaned stock pot. Now you can boil the stock hard, reduce by 2/3 then add the wine. Keep boiling and skimming until you reach a point where the sauce looks syrupy. The thickness of your jus is personal taste but I think it looks best on the plate when it resembles warm honey. Spoon a bit onto a plate to test - too thick add a little water, too thin, reduce some more. Transfer to a small container, cool and fridge it.

For the mash, cut the potatoes in half if very large, otherwise cook whole in salted boiling water until very tender but not falling apart. Drain and allow to steam in a colander until dry but still warm. Push through a sieve using the back of a spoon to make super smooth mash. Heat the butter and cream until hot but not boiling. Mix into the mash and season heavily with salt and white pepper. Depending on how  dry your spuds are you may need to add a little more milk to get the right consistency. You want the mash as soft as possible but not so soft that it cannot hold its shape. Add the horseradish, mix well and keep warm.

Fry your steak to your liking in lots of foaming butter and oil, finish in the oven and let the steak rest somewhere warm for at least 5 mins. Gently melt a little of the RWJ, it doesn't need to boil again.  Slice the steak and arrange on a big dollop of mash and drizzle the steak with the RWJ. I served mine with super sweet heritage carrots.  A bit of steamed kale would have been nice as well but I forgot to buy any!

Friday, September 16

Seabass & Borlotti braised with Salami & Serrano Ham

Inspired by my recent work at a local Italian restaurant, I thought I would do a twist on a dish they had on as a special a few weeks back. I was slicing salami and speck for the antipasti boards and there were some odds and ends left over. Dave the sous chef was braising borlotti beans and hey presto, a dish was born. Ask your deli if they have any ham or salami ends, I know Waitrose will give these to you for pennies rather than pounds. Now, a few pointers on successfully cooking beans:

1) They must be soaked for at least 24 hours in cold clean water - this takes no effort, just organisation.
2) Never boil beans in the soaking water, use fresh and never salt the water or sauce until the end of cooking as this toughens the bean skin.
3) Always skim any scum that forms when the beans come to the boil.
4) A very very gentle simmer is the way to go, no rolling boil or you will get soup. 
5) Make sure you give the beans time to cook, there is nothing, nothing worse than crunchy beans. Perfectly cooked beans should be intact and not split, but creamy in the middle.

For four:

Dry borlotti beans - 500g
Celery - 2 sticks finely diced
Onion - 1, peeled and finely chopped
Carrot - 1 large, peeled and finely chopped
Leek - 1 small, washed and finely chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves, finely chopped
Olive oil - 50ml
Chunk of salami - 100g, skinned and finely diced
Chunk of Serrano or Parma ham or equivalent - 100g, finely chopped (trim any really hard bits if using ends)
Rosemary - 1 small sprig
Bay leaf - 2
Red wine - 125ml
Chicken stock - cube or fresh, 500ml
Tinned or fresh tomatoes - 200g, chopped
Seabass - 4 fillets, scaled and pin boned
Fresh parsley - 1 small handful picked and chopped
Veg Oil - 50ml
Butter - a small knob
Salt and Pepper

Soak your beans overnight, drain and discard water. In a roomy braising pan gently fry the garlic, leek, carrot, onion and celery in the olive oil until soft. Add the salami and ham, the rosemary and bay, the beans, stock, red wine and tomatoes. Season with pepper only and bring to the simmer. Simmer gently uncovered for 1 to 2 hours until the beans are perfectly cooked but not falling apart. If the sauce looks dry, add a little more stock or water during cooking. You may season your beans now with salt and more pepper if required. The end dish should be thick and saucy so aim to get yours like the picture above.

Put a good non-stick frying pan on a medium high heat. When frying fish, you must heat the pan and the cooking medium (oil) before you add the fish. If the pan is cold when the fish goes in, the skin will stick. Add a generous glug of vegetable oil to the pan and allow to heat.   Test your pan is hot enough by dipping a little corner of the fish into the pan. If should sizzle loudly but not be so hot that the oil is smoking and spitting when the fish goes in.    

If you think you are there with the temperature, season the fillets on both sides and lay the fillets into the pan, skin side down. The fresher the fish, the more the fillet will want to curl.   Push the fillets down so that the whole surface of the skin is flat to the base of the pan - use your fingers if brave or more sensibly, a fish slice. After 20 seconds or so the fillets will stay flat.   Adjust the heat to maintain a medium/hot cooking temperature and leave the fish to cook for 2 to 3 mins untouched. Toss in your butter half way through this cooking time - the butter will give a lovely colour and flavour. Fish has a tendency to 'pop off' the pan when the skin is crisp and the less agitation you give the fillet until this point, the better. If your fish is sticking a little, leave for another minute. When golden and crispy, flip your fish onto the flesh side and turn off the heat. The residual heat in the pan will cook the fish through - in the meantime begin plating the dish.

Spoon the beans into warm bowls, top with the drained fish fillets and sprinkle with chopped parsley and a drizzle of good olive oil. A green peppery salad of watercress and rocket works well as a side, as does a large chilled glass of Albariño.

Monday, September 12

Fish Cakes, Tomato & Caper Sauce, Aioli

An updated way to serve this British classic, we used to serve up to forty portions a day at the pub which stressed out my busy chefs as there were three to a portion to make! However once made, they are super quick to cook and serve and look fantastic on the plate or in a pasta bowl. If you make the fishcakes smaller they make a great starter or golf ball sized for a light lunch/dinner.

I have not spoken about bread-crumbing yet (or pane in the trade - pronounced pah-nay). Commercial kitchens always have a tray on top of the the oven into which all bread ends are thrown to dry out. These are blitzed to crumb and can be used for all sorts of things like stuffings, herb crusts and pane. Pane protects delicate items during frying that would otherwise fall apart and also gives that delicious crispy coating. When you pane, always dip the items into seasoned flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs.  To get a really uniform professional look make sure your breadcrumbs are very dry and fine - sieve if necessary. You can also go into the egg and breadcrumbs twice called a double-pane but maybe I'm taking things too far now......for four:

Maris piper potatoes - 600g unpeeled
Mixed economical fish like trout, whiting, smoked pollock - 500g
1 small leek, washed and finely chopped
1 small green pepper - deseeded and finely chopped
Celery, 2 stalks finely chopped
Mixed fresh herbs like parsley, dill, tarragon, chives, finely chopped - 50g
Butter - 100g
Milk - 200ml
Eggs - 4 beaten
Flour - 100g
Breadcrumbs - a big bowl full
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 onion - finely chopped
Red wine vinegar - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1tsp
Olive Oil - 150ml
Vegetable oil - 100ml
Juice of half a lemon
Capers - 50g
Oil for frying 
Watercress to serve
Salt and Pepper

Boil your spuds in their skin until soft; drain, cool, peel and mash. Poach your fish in the milk - covered - until cooked and flaking. Discard all skin and bone, flake the fish in a large bowl and add the chopped herbs and mash. Gently fry the onion, green pepper and leek in the butter until very soft, add to the fish and mash, mix, season and set aside to cool completely. When cool, divide the mix into four then roll three equal golf ball sized fishcakes from each quarter. Set up a little pane section with three bowls, one with seasoned flour, one with egg and the last with breadcrumbs. Flour, egg then crumb each fish cake then chill the lot in the fridge.

Fry the onion and 3 chopped cloves of the garlic in 50ml of olive oil until translucent. Add the tinned tomatoes and blitz with a hand blender or in a liquidizer. Add the red wine vinegar, the sugar and lightly season. Simmer until reduced by a third, add the capers and check the seasoning. Set aside.

In a large bowl add the egg yolk, the lemon juice and the rest of the garlic ground to a puree with the flat of a knife and a little salt on the chopping board. Whisking continuously, drizzle in the remainder of the olive and vegetable oils - a little at a time - making sure each drizzle is fully incorporated before you add more. When all the oil is incorporated, you should be left with a nice thick sauce - check the seasoning and add more lemon if you so wish.

Heat your fryer to 160c (or use a deep pan or wok and heat until a piece of bread turns golden in approx 30 seconds) and fry the fishcakes in two batches until golden - approx 8 mins. Drain and keep warm. Heat your tomato sauce dabbing a little in the bottom of each bowl or plate, top with three fishcakes, watercress and aioli. I promise, this dish is more than the sum of its parts, a brilliant classic.

Sunday, September 11

Punjabi Style Samosa

Sold everywhere in India, these are a veggie classic. The pastry for these is much better than that used to make the ‘oh so perfect’ triangles you get in the supermarkets. It is a lot less hassle to work with and makes a more substantial samosa – perfect for lunch. They are a bit of an effort to make but once you have mastered this you can play about with the fillings. Once made however they are a real treat and people go mad for them hot from the fryer.

200g potato, peeled, cubed
150g carrot, diced
100g frozen peas
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric
1 onion, finely diced
1 green chilli, seeds in/out, finely chopped
4 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped.
1 lemon
200g plain flour
100g melted butter
1 litre vegetable oil for deep frying

Boil the potato until soft, drain and roughly mash. Cook the carrots until just done and then throw in the peas to blanch in the same water, then drain. In a frying pan, dry roast the coriander seeds, 1 tsp of the cumin seeds, the black peppercorns and cloves until fragrant taking care not to burn. Grind the spices in a pestle and mortar with the cinnamon and turmeric. Fry the onion in 2 tbsp of the oil until brown, add the chilli, garlic and ginger and fry for a further minute, then add the spice mix. Fry for a further minute mixing well and then transfer to the bowl with the potato and the veg. Mix the veg with the onion and spice mix adding the fresh coriander, a squeeze of lemon and salt to taste – it will need quite generous seasoning.

In a clean bowl, mix the flour, the remaining ½ tsp of cumin seeds, salt, melted butter, a squeeze of lemon and a tiny bit of warm water until you have a smooth, soft dough. Divide into three equal balls and on a floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approx 20cm in diameter – it should be quite thin (2mm to 3mm). Cut each circle in half so you have 6 semicircles. Make a small amount of thick paste from equal quantities of water and flour – this is the glue to seal the samosas.   

Take a semicircle of dough and rub a line of flour glue down half of the long cut side. Twist the semicircle round to make a cone shape (you must have done this at school sometime with paper?) and with the flour glue seal the side edge of the cone.  Hold the cone in a cupped hand and using a spoon fill with the veg mix, pushing it down into the point of the cone.   When the samosa is full with a 1cm rim of pastry left at the top, rub some flour glue along the top edges and seal by pushing the edges together. You want to aim for a rough triangle shape with a fan like top, full of filling and with no air pockets. If the top edges of your samosa are a bit messy, you can tidy up with some scissors. Repeat the process for the remaining samosas making sure each is fully sealed so that no oil gets in during cooking.

I'm not sure if you bought a deep fat fryer after my chips and bearnaise blog but now is the time to dust it off. You could also use a deep pan or wok to deep fry. Heat the oil to 160c (or until a piece of bread goes golden in approx 30 seconds). Cook the samosas 2 or 3 at a time for approx 5 mins until golden brown and very crispy. Serve with one or all of my chutneys, link below:

Wednesday, September 7

Carne Con Chili

No, I am not going mad and I do mean carne con chilli - this dish is all about the meat, massive lumps of it. Everyone expects this dish to be made with mince, but why? I ate a version in Mexico made with big chunks of slow braised steak and it was a revelation. If you want to work this one during the week maybe think about investing in a slow cooker.   I put mine on low before I went to work and it was ready when I got back at 7pm - the beef was so tender you could eat it with a spoon. Your butcher should be able to sort you out with whole steaks rather than small cubes of braising steak if you give him (or her in this age of equality) some notice. A good tip here for all tomato based sauces is to add something acidic and some sugar. The sweet and sour elements really lift the sauce, as does the mixture of chillies: dry; fresh; pickled and smoked. For four:

1kg chuck steak, trimmed and cut into four massive lumps
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 red peppers, deseeded
3 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
100g chorizo sausage, finely chopped
1 fresh red chilli, seeds in or out, finely chopped
10 jalapeno slices in vinegar and some of the vinegar, maybe 2 tbsp.
1 heaped tsp chilli powder, hot or mild
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 cinnamon stick
300ml full bodied red wine
2 tins good quality tomatoes
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 beef stock cube
2 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
2 tins kidney beans
Sour Cream
Fresh Salsa

Preheat your oven to 150c. Roast your peppers on the flame of your cooker until blackened all over. Leave to cool then remove the skin, de-seed and chop. In a large casserole pot, fry the steaks in the oil 2 at a time until really well browned. Remove the steaks and in the same pan add the onion and fry until well caramelised. Add the garlic, chorizo and red pepper and fry until softened and the red oil comes out of the sausage. Add the chilli powder, paprika, fresh chilli, cumin, cocoa and cinnamon stick and fry for a further 2 mins. Add the tomatoes, jalapenos and vinegar, wine, stock cube, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. If the tomatoes are whole, give them a squish in the pan to break up a bit, then bring to the simmer. Cover and put in the oven and slow braise for 2 to 3 hours depending on the thickness of your steaks. Remove the pan lid and cook for a further 30 mins to allow the sauce to thicken. Remove one of the steaks and pull a little off to see if it is tender. If not return to the pan and cook for a further 30 mins. 

Have a good taste at this point and adjust the seasoning, and add a little more vinegar and sugar if you think it needs it. Return the steaks to the sauce, add the kidney beans and heat through for 10 mins, seasoning to taste. I serve the chilli in individual deep bowls and top with sour cream, fresh salsa (I assume you know how to make this? Get in contact if not and I will blog a recipe for you all) and coriander. Serve with a big bowl of steamed rice for people to help themselves.