This recipe has always been a sure winner and I pride myself on the care, preparation and simplicity of it. Though my original recipe is a beef chilli, I wanted to turn things around by using lamb that is literally on our door step. Though each process as simple as they are, they deliver there own characteristics, layer of flavour from the actual browning of the mince, the meaty notes from the lamb brisket, the different level notes of the spices, seasoning’s and a couple of extras not usually found in a chilli but work for me.
1kg – lamb brisket
500g – lamb mince
450ml – lamb stock using a stock cube
Oil, for frying
4 – large cloves of garlic
800g (x2 tins) – chopped tomatoes
800g (x2 tins) – kidney beans
x2 – onions
x20 – dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp – smoked paprika
1tsp – oregano
1tsp – cumin seeds
1tsp – coriander seeds
2tsp – dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp – cinnamon
x4-5 – red and green chillies
1tsp – chilli powder
x15 – dashes of tabasco
2 inch – ginger finely grated and juiced
1 – stick of lemongrass (bruised)
Juice of 1 fat juicy lime
Preheat oven to 170 degrees
In a hot pan, adding a little oil, sear and colour the brisket evenly all over then transfer to to an oven proof dish with the stock, cover and cook for two hours.
Once it is nice and tender, remove the brisket carefully from the stock and onto a plate, cover, until it has cooled slightly and cool enough to pull.
The Spice Paste
For the first part of our spice blend, roughly chop the onion and place into a food processor with the garlic and half the chillies (slice the remaining and reserve) and purée until smooth and set aside.
In a dry pan, lightly toast the coriander and cumin seeds to release there flavours.
For the mince this part just takes a little more patience. When it comes to browning mince I can’t emphasise the importance of the browning stage. Not in the usual fashion which means tipping it all into the pan, for it to stew and end up with a grey appearance and a million miles away from the desired finish and flavour for this dish.
In a hot pan with a drizzle of oil fry the mince in small batches, until it starts to brown and caramelise, and transfer into a bowl until all the mince is browned, scrape everything out of the pan as it all adds to the flavour of the dish.
In a clean pan, working quickly, add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast lightly to release the flavour, followed by the tomato purée, spice paste, the browned mince, dry herbs, spices and cocoa powder. Let it come together for a couple of minutes and add the chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, the tabasco and lemon grass. Mix well and add the kidney beans.
To Pull The Brisket
At this point the Brisket should be manageable to handle. It can be pulled apart with two large forks or by hand, which ever you find easier.
When Both Meats Meet
Oven 160 degrees Celsius
Into a suitable oven proof dish add the minced lamb chilli, the pulled brisket and mix together, cover and cook for a further hour, stirring half way.
The Finishing Point
My quality sign for the finished is when there is a slight marbling of chilli oil settling on the top. For the final touches and just to freshen up, add the fresh ginger juice, the remaining sliced chillies, the juice from the lime and chopped coriander.
This can be served with rice, though it’s acceptable to serve with crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, guacamole, cheese. The choice is really yours, my personal favourite, crusty bread and the addition of extra hot sauce. Why? For my taste at the table I take it that little further and I just like it, its that simple.
I’d love to see what you create! Upload a picture to Instagram and tag me at @TheNiseachChef or use the hashtag #TheNiseachChef