Chilli and Cornbread.

Like spag bol, I assume everyone has their “own” chilli recipe. I tend to like Heston’s theories on most things, but he tends to take everything too far. Like he did with a humble chilli. I do find some strokes of genius from him though, and have adapted the recipe to my style. The new revelations for myself though were his spiced butter and the addition of lime at the end. I used to always add chorizo to mine, which is great, but I’ve omitted it and replaced it with smoked paprika. My other take on this recipe was to rather than buy mince( do you have any idea what part of the cow you are eating, no, I thought not.) I bought cheap ox/beef cheeks, trimmed them up, left a few big chunks in and minced the rest myself in a food processor. Cheek meat is worth trying, it’s tremendously beefy.

Difficulty 2/5 Just plan ahead a bit.


  • 500g Ox/Beef Cheeks
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 2 Cloves Garlic.
  • 1 Carrot
  • 2 Sticks Celery
  • 1 Chilli
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Purée
  • 200g Passata
  • 50g Spiced Butter(see below)
  • 200g Kidney Beans
  • 2 Limes
  • 500ml Beef Stock
  • 375ml Red Wine.
Spiced Butter:
  • 125g Softened Butter
  • 2 Tsps cumin, coriander, cayenne.
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Tsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1/2 Tsp Worcestershire Sauce.

1) Begin by making the spiced butter. Combine all ingredients together and put in fridge to solidify.

2) Prepare meat by trimming the meat of sinew. Cube it. Reserve about 100g cubes. Put the rest in a processor and pulse until it breaks down and resembles mince.

3) Brown all the meat until dark brown in a spoonful of oil. Remove the meat and deglaze the pan with a bit of water. Pour this into the meat.

4) Finely chop the onion, sweat in some oil with the star anise for 8 mins. Then add the other vegetables and chilli all finely chopped. Plus the tomato purée. Cook for 5 mins. Turn heat up high add the wine. Let this reduce by half. Then add the beef stock and passata. Add 50g spiced butter. Cook on a low heat, covered for 3 hours.

5) After this time,taste. Add kidney beans. Season and add more spiced butter according to your taste. Just before serving add zest and juice of one lime, taste again and add the other one if you think it needs it.

Serve with cornbread or rice. Topped with sour cream

  • Cornbread:
  • 120g Plain Flour
  • 120g Polenta
  • 20g Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 280ml buttermilk
  • 100ml milk
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

Mix dry ingredients together first. Then add wet ingredients. This will fill 12 muffin cases or one big 20cm square loaf as I did. Bake at 180c fan for 20 mins for muffins or 30 mins for one loaf at 180c/ 160c fan.


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8 responses to “Chilli and Cornbread.”

  1. 2katjaskitchen says :

    Star Annise – how interesting! I’ve never had that in a chili before. I will have to try that out 🙂

  2. dianeskitchentable says :

    Ah, finally someone who can make chili & just put in 1 chili. That I think I could tolerate. Where I used to work we often had lots of parties where people would bring in favorite dishes. There’s one in every crowd though – right? This guy used to think it was exceptionally funny to make chili & his “secret” was to dump in so much chili & hot sauce that people would run to the bathroom to spit it out. He thought this was just a riot. Frankly I’m not a fan of recipes that rely on blasting your taste buds to smithereens. I like flavorful, not overwhelming, good job.

  3. Clarabelle says :

    Does this work with Quorn mince?

    • David Crichton says :

      Yes Clarabelle, it will work with any meat, or quorn substitute. Obviously it will taste different but I assume your taste buds are acclimatised to quorn anyhow.

  4. Jennifer Duncan (@LuvFoodCookFood) says :

    Your presentation is stunning and your recipes are brilliant. Thank you. 🙂

  5. The Scrumptious Pumpkin says :

    Love your spiced butter recipe – would taste great with any type of meat, I’m sure

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