Gizzi Erskine’s Slow-cooked beef and chocolate chilli

This is the best chilli recipe in the world.

Don’t believe me? I challenge you to make this and tell me that you’ve had one better. It’s deep with meaty flavour of beef and rich from the red wine and chocolate with a chilli punch. I’ll never use another recipe again.

The first time I made this, I promptly lost the recipe, which led me to launch a full scale search of the internet and bookshops to no avail. Just as I was thinking that I would never be able to eat chilli again (as no other recipe would ever do), I found the recipe and all was well with the world again.

This isn’t the world’s spiciest chilli, so you may want to ramp up the heat, depending on your personal preference.

I’ve also made this in the slow cooker by throwing all the ingredients into the slow cooker in the morning, leaving on low for 8 hours and then reducing the sauce, before finishing with the beans and chocolate at the end before serving. Still super tasty.

I don’t think this recipe is in any of Gizzi’s books (believe me – I looked!), but it was published in Delicious Magazine, which I have a subscription for.

Serves 4-6. 30 mins to make, 3 hours to cook.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g braising steak, or you could use venison, chopped into 5cm chunks
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • half a tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a few fresh thyme sprigs, chopped
  • a few fresh parsley sprigs chopped
  • 200ml red wine
  • 400ml fresh beef stock (or a stock cube in 400ml water)
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 400g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 30g dark chocolate (min 70% cocoa solids)
  • fresh coriander leaves to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 160c/fan140/gas3. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish, and brown the meat in batches. Remove the meat and set aside.
  2. Add the onions to the pan and cook on a fairly low heat for 15 mins, or until they have softened and gone slightly golden. Add the garlic and chilli for the last two minutes.
  3. Stir in the spices and cook for 30 seconds, then add tomato puree and cook for another minute.
  4. Add the bay leaves, thyme, parsley, wine, stock and tomatoes.
  5. Add the meat back to the pan, along with any juices. Stir, then put the lid on and put in the oven for 3 hours. The sauce will thicken and the meat will soften.
  6. Leave to rest outside the oven for 10 mins, then with two forks, shred the meat to pieces. The meat will break up as you touch it anyway, so this is easy.
  7. Stir in the kidney beans and chocolate and cook on the stove for 5 mins.
  8. Serve with rice, guacamole, soured cream and corn chips.


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