Home   Food and Drink   Article

WanderSups: Need a 'hug in a bowl'? Cook this

“It’s the ultimate hug in a bowl.” January’s cold and dark winter days call for Chipotle Chilli Con Brisket, says Velvet’s resident recipe writer, Hannah Gregory

Winter weather calls for chilli, 'a hug in a bowl', says Hannah Gregory (53467429)
Winter weather calls for chilli, 'a hug in a bowl', says Hannah Gregory (53467429)

Let’s face it, those cold, dark nights aren’t going anywhere anytime soon and the need for comfort food is still very much real. This recipe is, for me, the ultimate hug in a bowl. Smokey heat from the chipotle, a rich depth from the coffee and chocolate and - thanks to the cut of meat and long, slow cook - a dark, unctuous sauce wrapping itself around melting soft brisket. This one is for the win.

It wasn’t until I spent time in the States that I was introduced to chilli being made with brisket - I guess you could say it hybrids a chilli and a stew but for me, there is now no going back. I would like to hope that, should this chilli have a personality, it wouldn’t be a judgemental guy but in all honesty, I know he would look down at his mince counterpart with an air of smugness: there is just no comparison.

Brisket is both affordable and delicious. It needs to be cooked low and slow to break down all the connective tissue so this is the perfect dish to whack on at lunchtime ready for sups in the evening. Or cook it in advance and just reheat on the hob before serving; this is one of those dishes where the flavours just keep developing over time. It also freezes well so is great for meal prep.

I like to keep things simple and serve with buttery white rice, a sprinkling of cori and maybe some sour cream if I am feeling wild - but it would be equally fantastic spooned over baked potatoes or topping nachos. Or just hoof it from the pan with a spoon like all the best people do.

Chipotle Chilli Con Brisket

Chipotle chilli con brisket is the ultimate winter warmer, says Hannah Gregory (53467439)
Chipotle chilli con brisket is the ultimate winter warmer, says Hannah Gregory (53467439)

Serves: 4

Tipple of choice: Nice cold, ice cold beer.

What you need:

● 1kg beef brisket

● 250ml hot, fresh coffee - please try and refrain from using instant

● 2 dried ancho chillis

● Olive oil

● 1 tsp ground cumin

● 1 tsp paprika

● Large pinch herbs de provence

● 1 bay leaf

● 1 red onion

● 2 red chillis

● 1 cinnamon stick

● 5 cloves garlic

● 1 tin chopped tomatoes

● 1 tbsp molasses

● 2 red peppers

● 1 tin kidney beans

● Salt and peps

How you do it:

● First trim and prep your brisket - remove any fat and carefully trim any sinew. Cut into 2.5cm chunks making sure you are going against the grain of the meat.

● Make the coffee and pour over the dried chillies to rehydrate.

● Finely dice the onion.

● Take a large casserole pan and heat a lug of oil.

● Throw in your spices, bay and diced onions - fry until the onions have softened, about five minutes.

● Finely slice the garlic and fresh chillies.

● Add the garlic and chillies to the softened onions along with the cinnamon stick, salt and peps and a swig of the chilli-infused coffee.

● Stir to make sure everything is combined then add the tinned tomatoes, molasses and the rest of the coffee.

● Throw in the chunks of brisket and make sure submerged. Pop a lid on the pan and cook over a low heat for 2 hours or until the meat is tender and pulls apart. Make sure you keep it a steady simmer and don’t let it boil too aggressively.

● When the meat is tender, shred it within its sauce.

● Slice the red peppers.

● Add the peppers and kidney beans to the mix and leave to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

● Check the seasoning before serving.

A former BBC MasterChef quarter finalist, Hannah hosts WanderSups supper clubs, “serving meals created with love, inspired by journeys around the world, dished up on home turf”. Her ethos is simple - have fun, enjoy it, make it an occasion. To find out more follow @WanderSups or visit wandersups.com

Read more

More by this author