Chilli beef ragù with cornbread topping

Chilli beef ragù with cornbread topping

Dean Cambray

When I lived in Canada, Monday night was football night. My mates and I used to settle down to watch the game with a big bowl of chilli beef and plenty of cold beers. A word of warning: I like my chilli hot! Feel free to reduce the quantity of dried and fresh chillies to your degree of tolerance.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg chuck, blade or rump steak, cut into 2 cm dice
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon dried chillies
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds, dry-roasted and ground
1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds, dry-roasted and ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 red peppers
2 onions, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
2 long red chillies, thinly sliced
1 litre tomato passata
2 cups beef or chicken stock
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup basil leaves
1 cup coriander leaves

Cornbread topping

Quantity Ingredient
2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup fine polenta
1 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
4 eggs
300g corn kernels, cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Place the diced beef into a large mixing bowl with the spices, salt and pepper and toss well so it is all evenly coated.
  2. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, brown the beef in batches, so that the heat stays high. Transfer the browned beef to a plate.
  3. Halve the peppers lengthwise and rub them all over with a little more of the olive oil. Grill, skin-side up, until black and charred. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and slice away the seeds and pith. Chop roughly and place in a processor. Blitz on high to form a rough purée.
  4. Add the rest of the oil to the casserole and lower the heat. Add the onion, garlic and chillies and sauté gently for 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften. Return the beef to the casserole and sauté for 2–3 minutes. Add the tomato passata, puréed peppers, stock and wine and bring to the boil. Transfer the casserole to the oven, and cook, covered, for 2 hours. The ragù can be prepared to this stage ahead of time.
  5. When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 200ºC. Stir the fresh basil and coriander into the ragù and pour it into a large gratin dish.
  6. To make the cornbread topping, combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs, oil and corn in a separate bowl, then stir into the dry ingredients to make a thick yellow batter.
  7. Spread the batter over the chilli beef and bake for 30 minutes until the topping is risen and golden and the chilli beef underneath is bubbling.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again