Clodagh McKenna’s chocolate beef chilli with jalapeño and cheese scones

The chocolate in this utterly delicious chilli adds a fantastic silky texture as well as deep notes of cocoa. I always double the recipe when I am making it and freeze half. It’s always better made the day ahead as the flavours improve over time.

Dora Kazmierak


50g salted butter
300g minced beef
1 small white onion or shallot, finely chopped
2.5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 small dried chillies, chopped
100g smoked bacon lardons
100g fully cured, ready-to-eat chorizo, diced
150ml red wine
400g can cherry tomatoes
300ml water
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh or dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup
50g dark chocolate, grated
400g can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon baking powder pinch of fine sea salt
50g salted butter, chilled and cubed
125g Dubliner cheese, grated
2 fresh jalapeño chillies, finely chopped
125–150ml milk or buttermilk

1. Place a flameproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add half the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the minced beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Transfer to a plate.

2. Add the remaining butter to the casserole dish, stir in the onion or shallot, ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the cumin, cinnamon and dried chillies and cook for a further minute. Add the bacon lardons and chorizo and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes until lovely and crispy. Return the beef to the pan and stir well.

3. Pour in the red wine, stir and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the cherry tomatoes, water, brown sugar, oregano, bay leaves and ketchup, season with salt and pepper and stir well. Cover the pan with a lid and simmer over a low heat for 2 hours.

4. While the chilli is cooking, make the scones. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6, and dust a baking tray with flour.

5. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in half the grated cheese, followed by half the jalapeño chillies. Then gradually mix in enough milk or buttermilk with a fork to make a soft dough.

6. Roll out the dough on a floured work surface into a round about 1cm thick. Cut into six wedges, place on the floured baking tray and sprinkle the remaining cheese and jalapeños on top. Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown. Transfer the scones to a wire rack and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

7. Remove the lid of the casserole and stir in the dark chocolate and kidney beans, then simmer, uncovered, for a further 15 minutes. Serve with the jalapeño and cheese scones.

Recipe from Clodagh’s Suppers by Clodagh McKenna, published by Kyle Books, £20