Beef Cheek Chilli with Essential Sides

First some things I noticed this week:

  1. Twitter is irritating. For every person that starts following you, 2 stop following you. Actually I think that every time I write a rude word, or controversial statement, like ‘Americans are crap at cricket’ then I lose loads of followers (-1)
  2. The opinion poll industry is a load of crap too (-1), in my opinion. We just had an election and all the polls said it was a neck-and-neck race. But it wasn’t – the Tories (right wing) won it by a mile and Labour (left wing) ended up looking a bit silly (-2)
  3. I am stupid. I have been haranguing my internet provider for the last week telling them their service is shit (-2). After ranting on the phone for hours over several days I finally booked an engineer. Then I checked the back of the modem, tightened the cable and now everything is fine

These are my top three observations of the week and I just realised they all related to communications, media, online; i.e. irrelevant twaddle and no one cares.

What people do care about is food:


This is a chilli. No beans. Beef cheeks, slow cooked. Served with fresh salsa and guacamole (a bit of a disaster). Served on corn tortillas rather than wheat ones.

This recipe contains a whole bunch of ingredients, but at its core are these three essential items:


Beef cheeks, a bottle of red and a chipotle chilli. Starting the day before you want to actually eat, place the chipotle chilli in a small dish of boiling water and let it rehydrate a bit. Chop up the chilli and pop in a large pan.

Pour in the entire bottle of wine. Superfluous to point out saving a bit of medicinal purposes.


Add the beef, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.


The next day drain the marinade into a bowl and pat dry the beef. Bring together the remaining ingredients:


For the Chilli

  • 2 marinated beef cheeks
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 1 small tube expensive sun-dried tomato paste
  • 1 pint beef stock
  • the red wine marinade
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • 50g dark chocolate
  • salt and pepper

For the Salsa

  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • bunch corinader
  • 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper

For the Guacamole

  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 avocado
  • juice 1  lime
  • handful coriander
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli chopped

To serve

  • corn tortillas
  • sour cream
  • iceberg lettuce
  • Cheddar cheese, grated

First cut the beef into big chunks and fry in the olive oil in batches. Set aside.


Fry the onion, pepper and garlic until softened.


Add the spices and stir to coat the vegetables.


Add the remaining ingredients. Oh, look, a splash of Jack Daniels managed to make its way in there. Don’t remember that…


Bring to a simmer and pop the beef in.


Cover and put in the oven at 150 centigrade for 3 to 4 hours. Remove the pot and add the chocolate.


Put back in the oven for another half hour.

Meanwhile prepare the salsa. Skin the tomatoes by pricking them with a knife all over and then pouring boiling water over them.


Chop them finely, discarding the seed. Chop up the coriander, onion, garlic and chilli.


Combine with the tomato in a bowl. Add the zest and juice from the lime.


To make the guacamole…well first just make sure you have a nice super-ripe guacamole. I didn’t and I ended up with chunky crappy (-1) guacamole.

Anyway here is the end result.


The optimum tortilla preparation layering is thus:

  1. tortilla
  2. chilli, spread out
  3. salsa
  4. sour cream
  5. guacamole
  6. lettuce
  7. cheese
  8. bit more sour cream




14 thoughts on “Beef Cheek Chilli with Essential Sides

  1. Cricket? I didn’t know Americans were allowed to play cricket. But technology, well we all have to deal with technology & it sounds like you’re just a techno-wizard figuring out you just had a screw loose! I had something similar just the day after I had a meltdown at the Apple store about their photos thing…the following day my IPhone screen went black. Stormed back to the store & left a little red-faced after the very nice techie explained how sliding the little slider to brighten the screen might fix it right up. Sigh…
    That chili looks like a very hearty meal – you did a nice job even though the guac might not have been perfect.

    • Yes but we have one of the best batsmen in the world (although he isnt English, of course) but we wont let him play because he hasn’t got the right attitude. Seriously its a wonder to me we ever got the Ashes in the first place.

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