Paleo Musings' Smoky Chipotle Five Alarm Chili

We eat Chilli Con Carne at some point over the weekend, most weekends. Seeing a really tasty looking alternative recipe posted on one of the paleo forums with the full article on her website, I thought it would be a fun change to follow somebody else's method.

Here goes ...

The recipe calls for tomato paste. I enquired as to the consistency of the paste - firm, like puree; sloppy, like passata; slurry, like chopped tomatoes? Her reply put me in mind of somewhere between puree and passata, not that it really matters I suppose - once cooked in its in there for flavour. As it happens, I simply hand blended a carton of chopped tomatoes.

The recipe also calls for a box of chopped mushrooms. I went for a small can of button mushrooms, which are usually tiny and retain a firm texture. This turned out to be a good choice.

The recipe also calls for Applegate Spicy Sausages. These were not available to me, but any good spicy pork sausage will do fine. I went for venison, which were all meat and flavoured with a little red wine. Perfect for this since we'll be getting all the heat from the chipotle.

To the kitchen ...

Begin by browning off a pound of beef mince. That's ground beef if you're following from over the pond.

Meanwhile, get the sausages in a frying pan and gently cook them through. Too high a heat and the skins burn. Medium is just right.

Chop some onion, fennel, a few garlic cloves and just a little ginger. Hand blend to a paste, then quickly blend further with a carton of chopped tomatoes.

Pour over the browned mince and combine, wetting up with a good pint of beef stock.

Sprinkle over some chilli powder suitable to your tastes, a couple of teaspoons of red wine vinegar and a few dried, smoked chillies - chipotle. This will deliver the smoky flavour.

Set on an active simmer for a couple of hours and then, maybe, half an hour before serving, pour in the can of mushrooms, chop up the sausages and chuck them in.

Raise the heat and reduce.

Serve out over spaghetti squash, cauliflower rice, maybe white rice, maybe just as is in a bowl with some salsa, yoghurt and guac alongside with a few leaves of gem lettuce.

Whichever way you do it, have fun and finish up with Chilli all over your face, grinning like a good 'un!