Sweet lamb chilli

Merrilees Parker's slow cooked chilli lamb makes a great informal supper served with a tangy tomato salsa, sour cream and tortilla chips
By Merrilees Parker
Sweet lamb chilli
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1.3333333333333333 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 500 g minced lamb
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp coriander, roasted and ground in a pestle and mortar
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp chillies, crushed
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 200 ml lamb or chicken stock
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400 g canned pinto beans, or borlotti beans, rinsed and drained

For the chunky tomato salsa:

  • 5 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 small red onion, very finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp each of flat leaf parsley, and coriander chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper

To serve:

  • 120 ml soured cream
  • tortilla chips
  • 1 tbsp chives, hopped


1. Set the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Heat a large non-stick casserole until very hot. Add the lamb and fry over a high heat until browned. Tip into a sieve or colander and allow excess fat to drain off.

2. Pour the olive oil into the pan and add the onions. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened but not browned. Next add the carrot, celery, garlic and thyme and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften.

3. Return the meat to the pan and mix in all the spices and the cocoa powder. Cook over the heat for a further minute. Add the tomatoes and the stock. Season too taste. Bring the mixture to the boil and then cover and place in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the chilli from the oven and stir in the pinto beans. Return to the oven and cook for 5-10 minutes until the beans are heated through.

4. For the salsa, simply put all the ingredients into a large bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix thoroughly to combine.

5. To serve, spoon the chilli into deep bowls, add a dollop of sour cream and some salsa. Finish with a sprinkling of chives and some tortilla chips.

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