If the Mexicans have been mixing these flavours for hundreds of years so can you…interestingly produces a really rich and heartening beef dish with a touch of creamy sweetness of chocolate and a slight chilli sensation!

Easy to make in an stovetop to oven to table heavy duty casseroled, can be put together in around 20 minutes and then slow cooked for a couple of hours.

You will need for around 4 people:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for sauté
2 leeks (or onions) sliced
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
500/600gms of diced beef suitable for long slow cooking
Chilli – up to you – I use 1 purple and 1 green Poblano (mild flavour) Diced.
But you can use more or hotter chillies!
2 peeled and large dice carrots
2 sticks of celery large dice
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup of red wine
½ cup of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cocoa
500ml of stock
to finish – Chocolate - about 4 cubes – around 30gms


Heat your oven to 140ºc (or 120ºc for a fan-forced oven).
Bring your casserole pot up to a moderate heat and add enough Olive Oil to cover the bottom then toss in the onion and garlic and sauté gently.
While they are cooking, trim and dice the beef, turn the heat up on the pot and toss in the beef and stir well. Follow this in the pot with the diced chillies, carrots, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Continue stirring for a couple of minutes and then one by one add the wine, vinegar, stock, stirring to incorporate, finally finishing with the cocoa, sugar and a good grind of black pepper!
Once the pot is back to the simmer, pop the lid on and then in the oven.
Slow cook in the oven for 1½ to 2 hours…or longer!
Just keep a check that the casserole still has plenty of liquid in it.

To finish..
Take the casserole out…put the chocolate pieces in and leave to soften and melt,
then gently stir so as not to break the meat up to incorporate into the sauce.
Serve with Creamy Mash or Creamy Polenta, preferably in a bowl with plenty of sauce!


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