Winter Chilli

Your favourite chilli recipe can take on a whole new personality when partnered with a seasonal vegetable.

If you're anything like me, you'll like your Chilli regularly. We have Chilli once a week, varying the meat from minced to diced, sometimes adding in pork, sometimes switching entirely to fish, other times to turkey or chicken ... but my minced meat Chilli remains the most commonly undertaken.

My method ...

Take a couple of pounds of minced beef - that's ground beef to you folks over the pond. Brown it off in a large lidded skillet along with some coconut oil.

Meanwhile, chop a large onion, a few cloves of garlic, a couple of chillies and a some ginger root. Blend this lot together with a hand blender until it is a slurry.

While the meat is browning, add in some beef stock and reduce, allowing the darkness to colour up well with the meat.

Pour in the onion slurry and cook through, adding in a carton of chopped tomatoes afterwards.

Finally, a good dollop of tomato puree, an over-generous helping of ground black pepper, a seriously good helping of oregano, some paprika, a little cayenne pepper, cube of 100% chocolate (cocoa powder would do fine) and a good pint, or more, of beef stock.

Lid on and let this lot simmer together for at least an hour.

Lid off, heat up and reduce.

That's my basic Chilli with several levels of heat - ginger, garlic, paprika, black pepper, chilli and cayenne pepper. Vary the chillies for different flavours.

Now the seasonal thing ...

Add in some cubes of pumpkin at the last stage, while the excess liquor is reducing. The pumpkin will cook through and go soft, but still retain some shape.

Of course, this concept can be continued throughout the year, including a different seasonal vegetable each month - aubergine, marrow, summer squash and winter squash are a few of my favourites.

Serve out, as is, or with some lettuce leaves for scooping up, some guac alongside, Greek yoghurt, simple salsa, you know the drill ...