Chilli and Cornbread

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Serves 4

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.

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 to add the wine and 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: 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.

These wines have been specially selected to compliment this recipe: 

Garnacha Carinena, Marin - Fermentation is temperature-controlled and the wine was aged in French oak.Taste:  Sumptuous Garnacha, with the richness and density you can only get from old, low-yielding vines. Dark fruit is balanced by spice and herbal notes.

Chardonnay, Finca La Colonia - Delicate aromas of pear and red apple lead to a refined, refreshing palate in which ripe fruit is balanced by subtle savoury and vanilla notes. Clean, dry and satisfying on the finish.

Cantine Leonardo Da Vinci Chianti - A bright, youthful ruby red in colour. Attractive red fruit aromas lead to a palate full of juicy, ripe berry fruit and hints of smoke and spice. A lifted, fresh wine that finishes on a perfumed, blackberry note.

Domaine de Bahourat la petit Parcelle de Viognier, Vin Du Pays Gard - Rich fruit flavours of peach, apricot and pear dominate the senses. Rich and creamy on the palate, the wine remains very balanced and textural with a clean, fresh finish. Try our Viognier with Thai dishes, chicken and curries or try with a walnut and stilton tart.





  •  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.


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