A Mexican feast – beautiful chilli with homemade guac and pico


The flavours of Mexico are fresh, spicy and delicious and any time I’ve got avocados in the fridge I know the only thing that’ll do them justice. I’m addicted to homemade guacamole and would make it every day given the ingredients and the opportunity. Tonight on the menu though it’s not just my favourite guac but the whole shebang; slow cooked fiery chilli filled with smoky coffee and chocolate and a fresh pico de gallo.

The chilli, and anything else slow cooked is the specialty of my other half. Our slow cooker is his most prized possession. Here’s our fiery chilli recipe.

1kg minced beef (12% fat)
3 small red onions
6 cloves garlic
2 cans tomatoes
1 can kidney beans
2 peppers
3 large chillies
3 dried Chipotle chillies
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp coffee grounds (mixed in water)
2 tsp cocoa powder
Cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
2 tsp muscovado sugar
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1. Roughly chop the onions and garlic and fry lightly in olive oil until soft in a large pot.
2. Roughly chop the chillies and add keeping it on medium heat.
3. Add the oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaves, sugar, salt, pepper and cinnamon stick.
4. Add the meat and cook until browned.
5. If you can get hold of dried Chipotles they add a great smokiness. Add the chillies to 300ml water, add the coffee grounds and let the chillies soak in the mixture for 10 mins before adding to the chilli.
6. Add the tinned tomatoes and cocoa and mix together.
7. Cook on a low heat for 2-3 hours (or overnight).
8. One hour before serving chop the peppers and add to the chilli.
9. Add the kidney beans and mix together.
10. Cook the chilli for one more hour.
11. Serve with rice, wraps, sour cream, guacamole (recipe below) and pico de gallo (recipe also below).

For a vibrant homemade guac:
2 medium ripe avocados
1/2 red onion
Handful flavoursome cherry tomatoes
Handful fresh coriander
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 large green chilli
Rock salt

1. Finely chop the onion, coriander (including stalks) and chilli.
2. Place in a pestle and mortar, add a pinch of rock salt and grind to a paste.
3. Finely chop the tomatoes and add to the pestle.
4. Squeeze the lime juice and mix.
5. Roughly chop the avocado and add.
6. Lightly pound the avocado until incorporated into the paste.
7. Finish with a squeeze more lime and a spring of coriander.

Pico de gallo (spicy, fabulous salsa):
3 flavoursome tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 jalapeño
Handful coriander
Juice 1/2 lime

1. Finely chop all the ingredients.
2. Mix together in a bowl and add the lime juice.
3. Lightly pound with pestle.
4. Season to taste.

And that is all you need for the ultimate Mexican feast. It’s quite a bit of work, but more than worth it!
¡Buen provecho!

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