Beef Chilli Hotpot and a Vanilla Porter

Taking some inspiration from the chilli hotpot that I trialled years ago with BBC Good Food Magazine, I thought I’d try my luck with a personal recipe by upping the ante with additional ingredients for a little luxury.
I’ll also be adding a scotch bonnet chilli to see how the heat differs to more traditional chilli peppers.

I’ll be using a selection of finely chopped veggies such as celery, carrots, red onions, garlic and peppers help to create some delicious base flavours.
Blending big spices such as smoked paprika, cumin & coriander with oregano, Worcester sauce and beef stock to create a big earthy flavour and aroma.
Then chunks of meltingly soft braising steak will help bring things together with the sauce and heat of the chillies.

Let’s get the oven on and those pans hot – It’s cooking time!

Steak Chilli Ingredients

  • 700g Braising Steak (Cubed)
  • 2 tbsp Plain Flour (A Little Salt Added)
  • 4 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 300ml Red Wine
  • 2 Red Onions (Chopped Finely)
  • 1 Large carrot (Chopped Finely)
  • 1 Stick Celery (Chopped Finely)
  • 1 Red Pepper (Deseeded & Chopped Finely)
  • 1 Green Pepper (Deseeded & Chopped Finely)
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1bsp Tomato Puree
  • A dash Worcester sauce
  • Pinch Chilli Flakes
  • 250ml Beef Stock
  • 400g Can Kidney Beans( Drained)

Hotpot Potato Topping Ingredients

  • 900g Potatoes (Peeled & Sliced To About 5mm Thick)
  • Knob of Butter
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  1. Toss the beef in flour, then brown half in a pan, using 1 tbsp oil. Once browned, spoon into a bowl.
  2. Add 100ml wine to the pan and scrape up any bits. Reduce a little, then pour into the bowl with the cooked beef.
  3. Wipe the pan and repeat with the remaining beef and another 100ml wine.
  4. Add 2 tbsp oil to the pan and tip in the chopped onions, veg, peppers Fry for 10 mins.
  5. Next add the garlic and allow to cook through for a further 2-3 minutes.
  6. Finally, tip in all the spices, chilli flakes, puree and Worcester sauce cook for 1 min, then add the rest of the wine and reduce by half.
  7. Add the tomatoes, sugar, beef, winey juices and stock then season well.
  8. Pop the scotch bonnet chilli then simmer for 1½-2 hours with the lid on until the meat is meltingly tender.
  9. Stir in the beans and allow to cool.

Stage 2 – Preparing The Hotpot Potato Topping

  1. Peel and slice the potatoes about 5mm thick, then boil for 5 mins.
  2. Drain, then tip back into pan. Add the butter and oregano leaves, season, then toss to coat.
  3. Tip the chilli mix into large oven dish, then layer the potatoes on top. Cover with cling film and cool completely before cooking.
  4. Heat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and bake for 50 mins-1 hr, until the sauce is bubbling, and the potatoes are golden.
  5. Serve things up as soon as you like!

Beer Pairing Perfection


The beef chilli hotpot is going to be bold, earthy and salty.
I wanted to come up with a pairing that works well with these flavours but also something that would still go hand in hand in with a traditional chilli flavour.
The keyword here is going to be ‘contrast’.

I had a couple of ideas in mind, but the beer I settled with was a Gonzo’s Biggdogg Brewing Vanilla Porter. All the way from Michigan in the US of A!
This vanilla porter comes in at 7.0%ABV and is described as a benchmark of balance, boasting hints of vanilla along with an unforgettable velvety texture.

To contrast a flavour is to bring together two opposing flavours.
The biggest contrast here is going to be the vanilla of the porter against the savoury and saltiness of the chilli hotpot.
My hope is for the opposing flavours to help enhance each other and help to bring out additional flavours that might otherwise by hidden in the mix.

Gonzo’s Biggdogg’s Vanilla porter is a is decadent, luscious and smooth porter.
The sweetness of the porter along with the vanilla are powerful enough to come up against the saltiness and richness of the chilli hotpot.
You don’t have to worry about the extremities of the heat either because this vanilla porter has a creamy richness that actually counters and reduces the heat allowing you to taste more of the individual spices and savoury notes.
The clever thing with this pairing is that no matter how hot or spicy things get, the vanilla porter is still capable of shining through and showing what it has to offer.

I think that this beer would make an excellent pairing to a number of spiced up desserts such as panna cotta or a rich chocolate cake.
Seems to me, to be an all-rounder kind of beer.

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