Happy Halloween Chilli, with beef, pumpkin and chocolate

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Bonfire Chilli with Beef, Chocolate and Pumpkin

A rich chilli made with pieces of beef rather than minced beef and with an added autumnal ingredient, pumpkins! Chocolate is also added to this beefy chilli, for an authentic Mexican taste – it enhances the depth of flavour in this comforting dish, and adds a silky richness. Serve this with plain boiled rice, or in bowls with grated cheese and sour cream on top, and tortilla chips for dipping!


700g beef (such as braising, stewing or shin)

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions (peeled and diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1/2 small pumpkin (peeled and diced into small cubes)
  • 1/2 fresh red chilli (de seeded and finely diced)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chiili powder (I used Chipotle chilli powder)
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 x 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tinned red kidney beans (drained)
  • 2 x 35g bars of Go-Do organic dark chocolate, broken into small pieces (or chocolate of your choice minimum 60% cocoa solids)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A little water


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F.
  2. Heat the oil in a suitably sized casserole dish or Dutch oven. Then fry the onion, garlic, chopped pumpkin and fresh chilli gently without colouring for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, oregano and dried chillies and stir in.
  4. Add the diced beef to the onion mixture and pumpkin mixture, and mix gently before stirring in the tomato purée, ketchup, drained kidney beans and tomatoes.
  5. Give it all a stir and bring the chilli to a simmer. Add the pieces of chocolate and stir in, put on the lid and transfer to the oven, cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours or until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally. (If it becomes too dry, add a little water to the chilli.)
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and adjust the chilli heat if needed, before serving with boiled rice or with grated cheese, tortilla chips and sour cream.

 Recipe courtesy of Karen Booth at Lavender and Lovage. Find more autumn recipes from Karen Booth for Forest Holidays here.

 Halloween Chilli

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