Mum’s Chilli with Potato Wedges


  • Onion, 1
  • Garlic, 4 or 5 cloves
  • Minced beef, ~1kg
  • Mustard (e.g. Dijon), 1 tbsp
  • Chilli powder, 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder, 1 tbsp
  • Paprika, 1 tbsp
  • Juice (either apple or orange), a glug
  • Stock, 1 litre
  • Chopped tomatoes, 2 tins
  • Fresh chilli, a handful
  • Kidney beans, how much do you like kidney beans?
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • Potatoes, 3 or 4



First you need to cook your reasonably finely chopped onions. Cook until they are soft and a little brown as this will add colour to the finished chilli.
Then add your chopped garlic. How much you add is a matter of taste. If we are using a kilo of minced beef I would add 4 cloves but it is up to you.
Once your garlic has cooked into the onions then add your meat to the pan. I usually used minced beef but if you prefer the texture of bigger pieces of beef I think that works fine too. Cook your mince all the way through, I like to break down any lumps that are in the mince and make sure it all has an even colour. I like to use a good quality lean mince as I do not want to add too much fat to the finished meal.
Now is the fun bit for me ass I adapt my spices etc depending on the mood, who will be eating the chilli, what I have in the cupboard.
I always add a little mustard, either a Dijon or a French mustard but you can experiment with whatever mustard you have. I add chilli powder, to taste, salt, pepper, some ground cumin and for a smokier feel maybe some smoked paprika. I like these spices to cook through a little before I add any other liquid to the pot.
Now is the time to add a little liquid to deglaze all the goodness from the pan. Again I think you can try out different things. I often use a little orange or apple juice but you could use a little wine if you wanted. The juice adds a little sweetness but you do not need too much.
Next I would add two tins of chopped tomatoes
Then I would add some beef stock, you could use home made or a good quality shop bought one. Add enough stock that the meat etc is completely covered in the pot.
Bring this to the boil and let it boil gently for a few minutes.
Now taste. At this point you will feel the heat of the chilli and find out about salt, sometimes you may need a little more salt because of the canned tomatoes. Before you add more chilli I like to put a whole fresh chilli in the pot and that will add some flavour and spice as it cooks so do take that into consideration! Adapt your spices etc as you feel is appropriate.
You are going to transfer your dish to the oven soon so now put in the whole fresh red chilli and add some fresh herbs if you like. Maybe some chopped coriander would be good in this mix.
Transfer to a low oven and cook for as long as you can to allow the flavours to develop. Make sure you have a lid on your pot before it goes into,the oven.

If you want to add beans to your chilli then I usually put them in about an hour before serving. This allows them to heat through entirely and to take on the flavours of the sauce. I like to have a little taste when I take the pot out of the oven to add the beans. Also this is a good time to check your liquid. Whilst chilli should not have too much sauce you do not want it too dry either. Add a little stock if you feel it needs it.
I do not interrupt the cooking process much but an occasional check to see the liquid is worth it. I have ended up with somewhat dry chill is on occasion!
Once you feel it is time to serve just remove the lid and add a little of the fresh herb you used to sprinkle on the top.
One of the good things about eating a chilli is what you put with it. You can make rice, serve it with lovely crusty bread or make potato wedges, a family favourite!

For the potato wedges:
Use a floury potato like Maris piper as you want a crisp outside with a soft fluffy inside.
Cut your potato into wedges, that should be thick but try to keep them even so you can be sure they are all cooked at the same time.
I keep the skins on for flavour and texture.
Soak the cut wedges in cold water for a few minutes and rinse off to stop the Pirates sticking together or sticking to the pan during the cooking process.
Dry the wedges well.
Cover the potatoes in oil, I use olive oil but you do not have to. I m mean with oil but the surfaces must be covered to get the crisp and colour at the end.
Now add spices depending what you added to your chilli. So as I added chilli, cumin and smoked paprika I will add all of these and some salt. I like to use my hands in the bowl and really mix the spices so I can see that each wedge has a covering of the spices.
How much spice you add is up to you, make them as mild or as spicy as you like.
It is okay to prepare your wedges ahead of time so the spices begin to take effect
Spread out on a baking tray so they are not on top of each other, as you might roast potatoes, and cook in an hot oven. They usually take about 45 minutes but do check. They should have good colour when ready with a crispy skin but soft and floury in the middle. Serve the chilli and the wedges together and enjoy!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. aliyasaied says:

    Yummy! But we need to talk about calling coriander cilantro!


  2. aminsaied says:

    Oh man – I didn’t even realise I’d done that! The situation is worse than I’d thought.


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