I love spicy food. I always have a range of chillis in the freezer at home just in case- they freeze really well. So put your toilet paper in the fridge and get cooking!

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Gruntie’s Chilli Con Carne / Gruntie’s Chilli Con Carne Stuffed Peppers

Gruntie’s Spicy Smokey Pork and Beef Chilli

Gruntie’s Chicken Jalfrezi

Gruntie’s Chicken Chilli Garlic CurryNEW !

Gruntie’s Lamb Madras

Gruntie’s Dirty Rice

Gruntie’s Chilli Con Carne

This is one of my wife’s favrits, to such an extent that she does not want me to share it with anyone! In the UK so many chilli con carnes seem to be just a spicy tomatoey bolognaise. I like this chilli to be spicey and MEATY!

Gruntie's chilli served with brown rice

Gruntie’s Nachips and refried beans are perfect as a starter before this or my other chilli dish and the recipe can be found in the Starters and Soups section.

Mexican’s do use beer in their cooking and I think that the addition of a dark beer really enhances this chilli. I like the end result to be quite dry, not sloppy and I don’t mind if the chilli catches a little on the bottom of the pan – it improves the flavour. I often cook it the day before I intend to serve it as it allows the flavours to develop.

Ingredients: This should feed about 6 peeps. 1 kiloish of beef mince, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped fat red chilli, 3 cloves of smushed garlic, half a chorizo ring finely chopped [optional], a couple of teaspoons of ground cumin, an extra sprinkle of cayenne pepper [if you want an extra kick], a small bottle of stout or real ale [beer], a quarter pint of beef stock [if using a stock cube, use a low salt version], a couple of tablespoons of refried beans, paprika and ground pepper to taste. Optional – A can of pinto or kidney beans. Note – As the stock and the refried beans are rather salty I don’t normally add any extra salt to this recipe.

Method: Start off by browning the mince in a large casserole dish and then remove it with a slotted spoon and keep it to one side in a bowl. Fry the onions in the juices that remain in the pan for a few minutes before adding in the chopped garlic, red chilli and chorizo. Mix it all up and continue to gently fry for a few more minutes. Return the browned meat to the pan and mix it all up thoroughly before adding the stock and the stout. Throw in the paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper with some ground pepper, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer [partially covered] for ages, stirring occasionally until it reduces to the consistency you like.

Finally stir in a couple of tablespoons of refried beans along with the pinto beans and simmer the mixture for another 20 minutes. It should now be ready to scoff! Serve with rice or stuff a pepper with the mixture and bake it in the oven. If you have any left over, it freezes really well.

Gruntie’s Chilli Con Carne Stuffed Peppers:

You can also stuff peppers with this chilli and make a gutsy tomato sauce and bake it in the oven, it’s delicious.

Ingredients for the tomato sauce: A tin of chopped tomatoes [or use fresh], a finely chopped onion, a couple of finely chopped cloves of garlic, a small glass of red wine, a small glass of water, a teaspoon of smoked paprika, a pinch of oregano, a teaspoon of ground cumin, salt and pepper. Optional- cayenne pepper, if you want the sauce spikey!

Tomato sauce method: Gently fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for a few minutes and then plop in the tomatoes and all of the other ingredients. Simmer for a round 20- 30 minutes partially covered until it has thickened. You will have to stir it on occasion to keep it from sticking. I like my sauce to be chunky and fairly thick. Slice the top off a couple of peppers and scrape out the seeds. Mix a couple of spoons of the sauce with the cooked chilli con carne and stuff the peppers with it, replacing the tops. Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish, pour a small glass of water into the pan and drizzle the peppers with olive oil. Bake in a low/ medium oven for around 30-40 minutes until the peppers are cooked and start to blacken. Serve with rice and the warm sauce.

Gruntie’s Spicy Smokey Pork and Beef Chilli

Another chilli? Yep! This one is just as yummy as the one above but it’s very different. There are tomatoes in it for a start and the smoked paprika and the smokey chipotle chillis give this dish a wonderful flavour.

Ingredients: This should feed 5-6 peeps depending how greedy they are! half a kilo of ground pork and half a kilo of ground beef, half a chorizo ring roughly chopped, a tin of tomatoes or 500g of passata, a can of black, pinto or kidney beans, half a pint [or more] of strong lager, one finely chopped large onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic, a couple of teaspoons of chilli powder or cayenne pepper, a couple of teaspoons of smoked paprika, a teaspoon or so of chipotle chilli flakes, dash of oil, a couple of teaspoons of ground cumin, teaspoon of oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Options – I like to throw in a roughly chopped green pepper near the end.

Method: Gently fry the onion and garlic in the oil for a few minutes then add the chopped chorizo and and cook for a further few minutes. Throw in the chilli, salt and pepper, paprika and oregano and add the meat, give it a good stir and cook until it is nicely browned. Pour in the beer and the tomatoes and stir it again and then simmer for at least an hour and a half partially covered, stirring occasionally. Add the beans and chopped green pepper and continue to simmer for another ten minutes or so. If your chilli is drying out too much you can add more liquid if you want. Adjust the seasonings and spices and it is ready to serve, however I like to rest the chilli at this point and serve it the next day.

Gruntie’s Chicken Jalfrezi

This is a simple but tasty curry to make. I often make it in advance and reheat it when required. It freezes well if you leave out the peppers which tend to go mushy, so you can add them later. Gruntie’s Tarka Daal works well as a side dish with this curry, you can find it in the Veggie section.

Ingredients: To feed 2-3 peeps. A couple of chicken boobies cut into bite sized chunks, 1 onion, one or two hot green chilli peppers, a small piece of fresh ginger, 2- 3 cloves of garlic, a tin of chopped tomatoes, 3 teaspoons turmeric, 3 teaspoons ground cumin, 2 teaspoons of ground coriander, teaspoon of garam masala, salt to taste, some vegetable oil. Fresh finely chopped coriander (sprinkles). Optional: Sliced green peppers, slices of onion.

Method: In a heavy casserole dish fry the chicken boobs in the oil then remove and keep to one side. Using an electric blender whizz the onion, garlic, fresh chillis and ginger into a pulp and plop the mixture into the hot oil and simmer gently for several minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it does not burn or stick. Whizz the tomatoes and add to the pan and stir it into the oniony chilli mush with a big pinch or two of salt. Simmer gently for around 20 minutes, partially covered and stirring frequently. It may splutter a bit and make a mess at this stage. When the sauce has thickened to a nice dark pulp, return the chicken to the pan and simmer for a further 15 minutes. If required you can add a splash of water if the sauce is too gloopy. Towards the end add the garam masala and the onion and fresh peppers which adds a nice texture to the curry. Serve with the coriander sprinkles and basmati rice.

Gruntie’s Chicken Chilli Garlic CurryNEW!!

This is a gorgeous curry. if I say so meself! It’s full of flavour and you can make it as spicy as you want. I have taken my inspiration from the wonderful Dan Toombs recipe from The Curry Guy Bible recipe book which I think is superb. Many of the recipes in his book are a bit fiddly. For my recipe I have taken a few short cuts or possibly liberties but I think the end result speaks for itself. This curry should take about one hour to create.

Ingredients: To feed 2-3 peepses. 2 large chicken boobies or 3 smaller ones cut into chunks. 4 garlic cloves cut into slithers, one small onion, an inch of fresh ginger, 3 cloves of garlic [yes more!], 1-3 green chillis cut into slices [one will make a mildish curry, three would mean a spikey one], 100ml of passata, 100 ml of mild chicken stock [use a quarter or half a stock cube]. some vegetable oil. For the spices– One teaspoon each of- ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, turmeric, mild curry powder, chilli powder [optional] and garam massala. A small stick of cinnamon, some freshly chopped coriander leaves, a teaspoon of dried fenugreek leaves [optional, but I like it], salt and pepper to taste, Extra chillis if you want to blow your bottom off!


Start by whizzing the onion, 4 garlic cloves and ginger in a blender with a small amount of water and gently fry the mush in some oil and a sprinkle of salt in a saucepan for around 5 minutes, stirring it to make sure it does not catch and burn. Add the garlic slivers, cinnamon stick and the chillis, simmer for another few minutes and give it another stir. Pour in the passata and stock and stir in all of the spices and allow it to reduce and the flavour to develop, this can take up to 20 minutes. At this stage you can create a thick or thin sauce, it’s up to you. You can also taste it and get an idea of how spicy it is and you can adjust seasonings at this stage too. Then pop in the chicken and stir it into the sauce and allow it to cook which should take around 5 minutes. Add more liquid or stock at this stage if required. Finally add the dried fenugreek leaves and chopped coriander and simmer for another five minutes. It is now ready to serve.

Gruntie’s Lamb Madras

This is really tasty and you can make it as spicy as you want! You can pretty much use any cut of lamb you fancy, just make sure it is tender before serving.

Ingredients: This should feed around 4 peepses – One large onion, 3-4 cloves of garlic, an inch of fresh ginger, a couple of green chilli’s, can of chopped tomatoes [or use fresh], half a pint of beef stock, a teaspoon each of ground cumin, ground coriander and tumeric. Optional – you can also add ground fenugreek and some cardamom pods too if you want. Some vegetable oil or ghee, 1 kg of diced lamb, a couple of dried birds eye chillis, another small onion roughly chopped, teaspoon of garam masala, salt and pepper, handful of shopped fresh coriander.

Method: Brown the diced lamb in a large pan in the oil then remove it with a slotted spoon and put to one side. Blend the onion, garlic, ginger and green chillis until smooth and then gently fry this in the same pan for a few minutes. Stir in the cumin, coriander and turmeric and continue to fry for 30 seconds. Then plop in the tomatoes and the stock and then simmer for around 20- 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop it sticking. Then add the diced lamb, partially cover the pan and simmer for around an hour or until the lamb is tender. You may need to add more water during this process. I like to leave it to cool and reheat the curry when required. When it’s time for this throw in the roughly chopped onions [it adds a nice tecture] and the garam masala and adjust seasoning as required before serving decorated with the coriander sprinkles.

Gruntie’s Dirty Rice

I have been making this old Cajun recipe for some time and I really love it. It’s an acquired taste of course as many people don’t like liver but it’s a cheap, satisifying, spicy and warming meal. The original recipe calls for chicken hearts and gizzards, I omit them but I do add cumin which always works well with liver.

Ingredients: Should feed 4 peeps – 400g chicken livers, 225g long grain rice, one onion finely chopped [I use red onion], 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 sticks of celery finely chopped, 2-3 spring onions finely chopped, a finely chopped green or red pepper, a bay leaf, [I also add some finely chopped red pepper to add colour], a pint of chicken stock, a knob of butter and some olive oil, handful of fresh parsley [or coriander] finely chopped, some celery leaves finely chopped, half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a teaspoon of paprika, a teaspoon of ground cumin, salt and pepper, a few cherry tomatoes.

Method: Clean the livers and remove any sinewy bits and then gently cook them in a saucepan with the stock and bayleaf, this should take around 20 minutes. Remove the livers with a slotted spoon and set aside. Do not throw this stock away you need it for later! In a separate pan gently fry the chopped onion, celery, garlic and pepper in the butter and oil until they are soft. Mash the livers with a fork and then add them to the pan with the softened vegetables. Add the cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper and some ground black pepper to the liver stock that you have saved. Gently boil the rice in this stock until the rice is cooked and has absorbed the stock. You may need to add more water if the stock evaporates too quickly. The end result should not be watery but moist [like a risotto]. Finally, stir in the liver and veg mixture into the rice with the spring onions and some of the chopped parsley. Adjust seasoning and then it is ready to serve. I like to serve Dirty Rice on a bed of shredded lettuce with chopped parsley and celery leaves sprinkled on top, oh and a couple of cherry tomatoes. Dirty!

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