Sunday, 2 February 2014

My Favourite Winter Warmer

The are asking bloggers to write about their favourite winter warmer recipe. I thought long and hard about which recipe really was my winter warmer recipe, the go to of all of the recipes for myself and the family. It was a hard choice but I have decided to share my recipe for Chilli with you. It's that one recipe that warms you on a chilly day, makes you feel warm and cosy inside and my go to meal that I know all of the family will not only eat but be fighting to sit down to and eat it! It came about after I saw a friend make something similar, and after a bit of tweaking here it is:

Ingredients for the Chilli - Serves 6
1 red onion
2 Cloves garlic 
200g closed cup mushrooms
Tin of Tomatoes
Tin of salad beans (you could use kidney beans instead)
1 Chorizo
400g Beef mince 
Splash of ketchup
Splash of tomato puree
Dash of Soy Sauce, worcester sauce, mushroom ketchup
4 cardamom pods
Dash of chilli powder, cinnamon powder, cumin, coriander powder
Pepper to taste

Chorizo, Onion and garlic cooking 
1. Splash of oil in the pan to cook the Chorizo, onion and garlic over a low heat
*I really like Oilseed rape oil to cook with as its leaner and you can get a great smoked one that adds flavour to this recipe. 

2. Add in the beef mince to brown and turn the heat up a little

3. Add in the mushrooms and beans

All the ingredients are in, it just needs to simmer!
4. Add in everything else to make up your sauce and add flavour - tin of chopped tomatoes, ketchup, tomato puree, soy and worcester sauce, mushroom ketchup, cardamon pods, cinnamon, cumin, coriander powder, pepper and Chilli powder. 
*Add as much or as little Chilli powder as you like, I usually hardly add any as my kids eat it too and it doesn't need the heat because the flavours are so good.

5. Simmer over a low heat for about 20 minutes *Remember to find your cardamon pods before serving - when left simmering they usually rise to the top making them easy to spot.

6. Serve with rice, sour cream and cheddar cheese grated on the top. An accompanying salad or garlic Foccacia is also nice with it too if you want it to go further.

Its a very versatile recipe and we have adapted and changed it to make it work for us and this is how it has stuck for us, but you could swap out the salad beans for kidney beans (we just think the salad beans give it a different edge) or you could use a red jarred sauce and just add the spices if you don't have much time. We love it with rice but we also like it as leftovers in a tortilla too.

The great thing about this recipe is that everyone in my family likes it, they scoff it down like they haven't eaten all day. My brother is often caught stealing it out of the pan as I am cooking it too. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. I actually think it tastes better when it has been cooked all day or even frozen and then reheated as it gives time for the flavours to infuse through it. Its perfect for those dark cold nights when everyone is tired and you need something easy to eat but full of taste, plus if you add a bit of Chilli heat to it to it warms you in more ways than one! 

My Mum and Dad enjoying the Chilli with us.

My son enjoying his Chilli!
I made it recently when my Dad came for dinner and having had half leftover I froze it for a rainy day. A few weeks later my Dad and husband were looking after the kids for the day and so to help them out I pulled out the bag of Chilli for them to cook for dinner. My Dad made this big thing when I got back about how much better this Chilli was than the one I had cooked a few weeks ago! If that doesn't prove that its a great freezer meal I don't know what will. So why not cook a double batch and freeze half!

Trust me when you have eaten this Chilli you will definitely feel warmer, the night will seem brighter and you will have that full just eaten feeling! I would love to hear how you get on cooking it!


  1. I love chilli con carne! A popular dish this week on #RecipeoftheWeek! Mel

  2. Sounds seriously warming and comforting. Thank you for linking up to #recipeoftheweek. It’s always appreciated :) I’ve Pinned and Tweeted this post and there’s a new linky just gone live - would love you to join in x