This recipe is a particular favourite with Steve and I.

To give 2 very generous helpings
you will need:

  • 1 lb, 450 g, lean minced beef.
  • 1 pack of 6 rindless, smoked back bacon rashers.
  • 2 medium sized onions, peeled and chopped.
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
  • 1 large red pepper, de-seeded and broken into small pieces.
    how hot you want it to be). Please remember not to touch your eyes or face
    now until you have rinsed your hands well in cold water as the juice from
    chilli peppers causes severe irritation.
  • 1 tall tin, 400 g, of Italian
    chopped tomatoes.
  • 1 tall tin, 440 g, (weight may vary slightly but that’s ok), of mixed beans in tomato sauce.
  • 2 or 3 tbsps olive oil for frying.
  • Salt and ground black pepper,
    To accompany the chilli.
  • 2 garlic butter baguettes, or, alternatively, 2 packets of Uncle Ben’s express long grain
    rice

Set your oven to gas mark 7, 425 f, 220 C, 180 fan.

  1. Line a large, deep sided roasting tin with baking foil and spread out your bacon rashers on it, in
    a single layer.
  2. Tip the minced beef on to a large plate and separate out the grains or strands a little, with your
    fingers, so that it isn’t quite so stuck together, which will help to evenly distribute it when it’s
    mixed in with the other ingredients, then transfer it into a large saucepan,
    along with the chopped chilli, onions, garlic and red pepper. I would
    advise you to wash your hands thoroughly again now.
  3. Add 2 or 3 tbsps of olive oil to the saucepan, and a shake of salt and pepper and fry, on a medium
    heat, turning over the meat and vegetables regularly with a long-handled, heat
    resistant spoon for 4 or 5 minutes by which time, everything will be well combined, coated in oil, and beginning to soften slightly.
  4. Turn the heat down to simmer or until you can just hear it sizzling a bit, cover the pan with a lid,
    then continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for a further 15 minutes.
  5. Next, remove the pan from the stove on to a heatproof work surface and add the contents of the tins
    of chopped tomatoes and mixed beans. Stir well to mix everything together.
  6. Put the pan back on the hob, turn up the heat a little and
    bring it to the boil, till it bubbles, stirring constantly.
  7. Turn down the heat to simmer, cover the pan and continue cooking for a further half an hour, giving
    the chilli a stir regularly, to prevent it from sticking to the pan.
  8. Put the tin containing the bacon in to the top of your pre-heated oven now, and it will be cooked at
    the same time as your chilli.
  9. 15 minutes before your chilli is ready, put the garlic baguettes on a baking sheet and put them into
    the oven below the bacon tin.
  10. About 10 minutes before the chilli’s ready, Put your serving plates to warm, along with smaller
    plates for the bacon and your garlic baguettes.
  11. If you are serving long grain rice, make a small slit with kitchen scissors where you can feel a
    little notch on one side of the top of each packet, put one bag on to a plate,
    put the plate into the microwave and cook on high power for 2 minutes (for a
    900 Watt model), but follow the cooking instructions for your own microwave, Carefully sliding each bag from the plate on to your worktop before cooking the
    next.
  12. If you don’t have a microwave, cook each bag separately by adding 2 tbsps, 30 ml, water to a small saucepan,
    bringing it to the boil, which will only take a few seconds, opening a bag, tipping
    in the contents, covering the pan and
    cooking for 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, fluff up the rice with a
    fork and its ready to serve.
  13. When the chilli has cooked, turn it off, leave the pan still covered on the stove to keep it hot.
  14. Turn off the oven, remove the bacon tin on to a clear worktop and use a fish slice to move the
    crispy slices to a warm plate. Leave on one side.

Spread out your warm dinner plates, take the pan of chilli from the stove and use a large serving spoon
or ladle, to add generous helpings to the centre of each. A good way to divide it equally is to spoon
it out on to the plates alternately.

Distribute the bacon equally between each plate by breaking it up and crumbling it over
the top of the chilli, this is what makes it “luxury”.

If you’ve cooked the rice in the microwave, Remove the top of each bag with kitchen scissors, and, supporting
the bottom of the bag with one hand, open out the top with the other, tip it up
over the plate and monitor the rice distribution with your fingers, trickling
it out evenly, all round the edge to make a nice border around the chilli. You’ll find that you can do this quite
easily as the rice doesn’t stick together, or, spoon out the rice
from the saucepan in the same way, giving a nice attractive edging.

If you are serving garlic baguettes, take them out of the oven on
to the warmed plates, cutting each one in half across the middle, to make them easier
to handle.

Everything is ready now, so sit down at the table, relax and enjoy it.

If you find that the flavour of the chilli’s too hot, stir in a
heaped teaspoon of honey, if it’s still too hot add a little more and taste it
again. Honey really is good at reducing
the flavour, without adding too much sweetness. However, if you think it’s not hot enough, pour on and stir in
some Blue Dragon Chilli Dipping Sauce.

If, by any remote chance, you can’t manage to eat the whole pan full at once, the chilli does
freeze extremely well and can be kept for several months.

Enjoy it,
Sue.