Chilli beef, a smoky stew with chunks of beef with beans and vegetables, slow-braised in a spicy sauce, perfect for feeding a crowd!
It’s Winter, its cold outside, it gets dark early and I want a warming stew, specifically some slow braised beef. Specifically a smoked beef chilli. I was busy outdoors at the weekend, trying to give the garden a good tidy while the weather is still holding. I prepared this chilli in around 20 minutes then popped it into the oven and left it. Like many at a weekend I want something quick to prepare and I don’t mind if it takes all afternoon to cook. Coming back indoors to a kitchen warm with the smell of food cooking, perfect.
However, with the festive period fast approaching we all have those recipes that we rely on to feed a crowd. One such recipe is this smoky beef chilli. It’s the type of recipe that can be easily multiplied depending on the numbers you are feeding.
Can I freeze this chilli beef?
Yes this dish freezes really well. This dish is ideal for the Christmas holidays, those days between Christmas and New Year, as it can feed a crowd. I cook this smoked beef chilli at the end of November and place it in batches in the freezer. Meaning I have a ready-made dish to feed the masses but with no real effort other than remembering to take it out in enough time to defrost! I rely on prep ahead dishes at this time of year. As much as I love cooking I don’t want to stand for hours when I have family and friends round.
Do I have to use beef shin?
We have used beef shin in this dish, but you can easily substitute with other slow braising cuts like brisket. Just make sure you cut the beef into large chunks before cooking.
Can I make chilli beef ahead of time?
Yes, this is a great make ahead dish. I like to make beef chilli a day before I need it, that way it sits for 24 hours soaking up all the flavour from the sauce. This gives a far more intense meatiness to the dish, it simply tastes better if left for a day before eating. I like to serve this simply with some steamed rice, sour cream, guacamole, tomato salsa and a wedge of lime.
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Other similar recipes, just as easy to prepare are our Spaghetti Bolognese, our Slow Braised Paprika Beef our Beef Cheeks Braised in Red Wine, and our Asian Inspired Beef Shoulder. Like this smoked beef chilli these are simple assembly jobs before popping into the oven for a few hours.
Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.
Finally special thanks to Donald Russell for providing the beef for this recipe, it is very much appreciated.
smoked chilli beef
- 1 kg beef shin - or same quantity of stewing steak cut into large chunks
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium onions - chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic - crushed
- 2 red chillies - deseeded and diced
- 2 red peppers - deseeded and diced
- 2 tins kidney beans in chilli sauce - do not drain, the chilli sauce should be added with the beans
- 1 tbsp Stubbs hickory liquid smoke
- 250 ml tomato passata
- 1 Knorr beef stock pot
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 250 ml water
- 1 tsp salt
- black pepper
- Heat the olive oil over a medium heat in a heavy based casserole dish. Season the chunks of beef with salt and pepper and brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Place in the onions in the pan and saute gently for 5 mins, taking care not to burn. Add the garlic, chilli and red pepper and continue to saute for a further minute.
- Add the ground coriander and cumin to the vegetables and fry gently for 2 minutes to release the flavour.
- Return the beef to the casserole dish and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well, cover and place in a low oven at 140CFan for 4-5 hours until the beef pulls apart. If the dish looks like it is drying out add a little water to loosen the gravy.
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