In the world of food some things were simply meant for each other. In fact some food items are so compatible it’s a bit of a mystery why God didn’t just save some time and bring them into existence in their final, delicious form.
Take, for example, bacon sandwiches and tomato ketchup. No one would even consider one without the other, so why bother producing them as separate things? And lamb with mint jelly. What else can you do with mint jelly except eat it with lamb?
And so the list of inseparable foods goes on – cheese and pickle, steak and scallops, chocolate and jelly beans…I’m stopping now before I start chewing the keyboard.
However you can go too far. Sometimes a food combination sounds better than it tastes. For example ‘Chocolate Chilli’.
Now on paper this sounds like it should work.
Ingredients (from the Hairy Bikers, yet again)
- 4 tbsp oil
- 1lb beef steak, diced
- 1lb mince (beef if you can find it)
- 1 white onion chopped
- 1 red onion chopped
- 2 sticks celery chopped
- 1 dried chipotle chilli
- 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
- ½ tbsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 pint beef stock
- 1 can kidney beans
- 1 can black-eyed beans
- sea and pepper
- 3oz plain chocolate chopped
- fresh coriander
- soured cream
- spring onions
Heat some oil in a casserole/Dutch oven and fry the diced beef and mince in batches, frying until browned all over.
Then fry the onions and celery.
Add the chipotle chilli, chilli flakes and powder and oregano.
Put the meat back and add the sugar, tomatoes, stock and beans. At this point realise that your Dutch oven is too small so get out the Big Boy. Pop in the oven at 180 centrigrade for a couple of hours.
When ready to serve, season and stir in the chocolate and chopped coriander.
Serve with rice, soured cream and sliced spring onions.
So how did this creation turn out? Well it tasted like chilli to which someone had added chocolate. It wasn’t right. The flavours didn’t combine. Had I undercooked? I checked the recipe – and there it was – add the chocolate at the end – just stir in until melted – I did what I was told!
Maybe the chocolate was too…chocolately; but it did say use bitter chocolate. Personally I don’t think chocolate goes with chilli. You can scatter some chilli on some chocolates alright but I’m not so sure about dumping a bunch of 70% cocoa dark chocolate into a chilli con carne.
Mind you it was fun catching my youngest and his friend trying to eat the chocolate off the chillis in the photo. I found the milk carton in the fridge covered in chocolate finger marks where they had been eating the chillis and then glugging the milk. Bless the children.