Chilli Beef Ragù with Corn Bread Topping
When I lived in Canada, Monday night was football night. My mates used to settle down to watch a game with a big bowl of chilli beef and plenty of cold beers. A word of warning: I like my chilli hot! Feel free to reduce the quantity of dried and fresh chillies to your degree of tolerance.
chuck, blade or rump steak, cut into 2 cm dice
½ tbsp cumin seeds, dry-roasted and ground
freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
4 red peppers
2 onions, finely diced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
beef or chicken stock
½ cup red wine
- Cornbread topping
cooked corn kernels
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Place the diced beef into a large mixing bowl with the spices, salt and pepper and toss well so it is all evenly coated.
- Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown the beef in batches, so that the heat stays high. Transfer the browned beef to a plate.
- Halve the peppers lengthwise and rub them all over with a little more olive oil. Grill, skin side up, until black and charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and slice away the seeds and pith. Chop roughly and place in a food processor. Blitz on high to form a rough puree.
- Add the rest of the oil to the casserole and lower the heat. Add the onion, garlic and chillies and sauté gently for 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften. Return the beef to the casserole and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato passata, pureed peppers, stock and wine and bring to the boil. Transfer the casserole to the oven, and cook, covered, for 2 hours. The ragù can be prepared to this stage ahead of time.
- When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 200ºC. Stir the fresh basil and coriander into the ragù and pour into a large gratin dish.
- To make the cornbread topping, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs oil and corn in a separate bowl, then stir into the dry ingredients to make a thick yellow batter.
- Spread the batter over the chilli beef and bake for 30 minutes until the topping is risen and golden and the chilli underneath is bubbling.