For someone who isn’t a ‘Chilli Head’, (I start to sweat even looking at a bottle of the ubiquitous Sriracha sauce), I fucking love a chilli! I’ve had to add a dedicated chilli section dedicated to them here on Pigley’s Kitchen, or maybe I’ll just set up a separate chilli-fangirl blog. One of my favourite things about Nigella Lawson is that with each new book comes a new recipe for chilli. I’ve cooked all of them to date. This, her aptly named Quick chilli from Nigella Express, completes my research.
I’m not usually one for cheat ingredients (it’s a bit Joe Wicks for me) so looking at Nigella’s Quick chilli, I was a little apprehensive. Ingredients include: Ready-made chunky vegetable pasta sauce; tinned mixed beans in spicy sauce; sweet chilli sauce. I couldn’t actually bring myself to buying a jar of pasta sauce especially for the occasion, as I have a glut of onions and endless tins of tomatoes. I sweated off onion and garlic as per normal. It probably added 5-10 mins to the cooking time, not the worst result. I did actually have a tin of the beans in spicy sauce from a grandparental care package, so that came in handy. I always have the inexpensive ‘Healthy Boy’ sweet chilli sauce in the fridge and there was an open pack of chorizo that needed using.
You’re never safe from being surprised… until you’re dead.
Well I had to eat my words with this recipe. This Quick Chilli had unexpected depths of flavour. Just spicy enough. Just sweet enough. Just reduced enough. The sweet chilli sauce helped to add a stickiness to the chilli that belied the short cooking time. Honestly, I’ve painstakingly slow cooked chillis in a casserole for hours with pieces of beef shin and had results less satisfying than this one. It’s not fair.
After lecturing people for years about the necessity of slow cooking, I went days without pausing for breath, raving about this Quick chilli, breaking only to snaffle more leftovers. I also feel bad for doubting Nigella. That’ll learn me.
P.S. No photo on this occasion, a chilli rarely photographs well with artificial light at nighttime. If you’re curious as to how it looked: brown and wet.
Recipe can be found here.