Short rib chilli con carne with beer pickled onions


Short ribs make a really beautiful chilli con carne - the tender meat falls off the bone, melting and combining with the smoky dried chillies, creamy beans and rich, deeply savoury sauce. The beer pickled onions add pops of flavour and the feta makes a great substitute for queso fresco, a fresh cheese that is used to garnish tacos and stewed spicy dishes like this one. Serve with rice, a jacket potato or tortilla chips. 

First published in 2022





Beer pickled onions



Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 3


Combine the coffee and dried chillies in a bowl, then weigh the chillies down with something like a small plate to keep them submerged


Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a dry pan until they smell fragrant, taking care not to burn them. Grind the toasted seeds to a powder in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder


Heat a dash of oil in a large pan until very hot, then add the short ribs. Brown the short ribs on all sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside


Add another dash of oil to the same pan if necessary, and cook the onion until soft, around 10-15 minutes. While the onions cook, use a wooden spoon to scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan


Drain the chillies, reserving the coffee. Remove the chillies’ stems and seeds before adding them to the pan with the garlic, dried oregano and ground cumin and coriander. Cook out for a minute or so, stirring, until the garlic has softened and the spices are fragrant


Return the short ribs to the pan, then add the reserved coffee, stock, tomatoes, cinnamon stick and some salt and pepper and mix everything together


Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours


Make the beer pickled onions by combining all the ingredients except the onion in a small pan and heating gently until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the onion, then remove from the heat and set aside, covered


Take the short ribs out of the chilli and shred the meat off the bones. Put the meat back into the chilli


Add the Worcestershire sauce, beans, vinegar, chocolate and chopped jalapeños to the chilli. If the liquid level is looking low, add the remaining 250ml stock. Cook for a further hour


Garnish the chilli with the lime wedges, feta and beer pickled onions, then serve with rice, a jacket potato or tortilla chips

First published in 2022

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