I’ve been a bit slack with recipe posts recently, mainly because I never think to take photos of the prep stages until after I’ve already finished my third helping. But this recipe is too good not to share, you’ll have to imagine the photos of chopped up, raw beef and spice mixes for yourselves. This was originally a recipe from Jamie’s America that I have butchered and changed so much he’d probably rather have a recipe for Turkey Twizzlers associated with him…

The key to this one is to cook it for as long as you possibly can. I made it at the weekend and cooked it for about five hours on Saturday evening then another five Sunday morning. Low and slow, that’s the key to this one-pot-wonder.

Ingredients (serves 4-6 with some left over)

1.5kg of beef brisket (if you can get it from the butcher’s then that’s ideal because you need to cut as much fat off as possible and that is a ballache, if not, Lidl does the best of the supermarkets!) cut into 3cm chunks
2 or 3 pork shoulder steaks (again, Lidl is bloody great for these) cut into 3cm chunks
500ml of hot coffee
6-8 dried bird’s eye chillies
2 heaped teaspoons cumin
2 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves (Jamie says fresh, I say I don’t have room for a bay tree so dried will do)
2 red onions, diced
3-4 fresh red chillies, deseeded and sliced
2 cinnamon sticks (or a teaspoon of cinnamon powder if Sainsburys are out again)
10 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (yes, 10.)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 x 400g chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons of muscovado sugar
2 red or yellow peppers, sliced
1 x 400g tin of kidney beans (baked beans work too, again, don’t tell Jamie)
3 teaspoons of cornflour, mixed with a little water
Soured cream, to serve (copious amounts if you’re feeding the kids)

Make your coffee, use the fancy stuff, and soak the dried chillis in it for a few minutes to rehydrate. (Avoid the temptation of offering your unsuspecting partner a sip)

Put your largest casserole type pan (AKA the knock-off Le Creuset you got from Sainsburys) on a low heat, add a good splash of olive oil, the cumin, paprika, oregano, bay leaves and onions. Give it all a good stir and fry for 10 minutes until the onions have softened.

Slice up the rehydrated chillies from the coffee and add to the pan with the fresh chillies, the cinnamon sticks, garlic, a good pinch of salt and pepper, and a splash of the chilli infused coffee.

Stir then add the rest of the coffee, the tinned tomatoes, and the sugar. Add the meat with another good pinch of salt and pepper, cover with a lid and simmer for eternity. (Or until about half an hour before you want to eat, the longer the better, at least 3 hours. If you can take it off the heat and leave it over night before simmering a bit more the next day even better!)


Once you’ve aged 15 years and your children have graduated university, had children of their own, and given up on their crazy, chilli-obsessed mother use a potato masher to break the meat up.

Add the sliced peppers, kidney beans, and cornflour mix and allow to simmer for another half hour or so with the lid off, stirring occasionally.

Serve with the world’s crispiest, saltiest jacket potatoes and soured cream…and beer.


I wasn’t even able to get a photo of the finished product before it was half empty, which while a nightmare for any Insta-addict is quite the compliment…

It looks more complicated than it is, it really is just a chuck it in the pot and go recipe. I haven’t tried it but I’m sure it could be done in a slow cooker too!

Now I don’t want to patronise you here, but I feel that a lot of people still haven’t nailed the perfect jacket potato, something I personally pride myself on. Crispy and salty on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside.

It’s super simple; 10 minutes in the microwave, whack in a roasting tin, cover in olive oil and artery clogging amounts of sea salt, in the oven (around 200°c?) for 20-30 minutes or until they look so good you can’t wait any longer.

Enjoy! It’s a great substitute for a Sunday roast, or for a Saturday night in with friends. We give it to the Tiny Idiot too, it has got a spicy kick but a couple of teaspoons of soured cream stirred through mute that enough for her five year old palette. Let me know if you try it! (If it’s crap blame Jamie, not my tweaks!)

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