This chilli is simply a matter of getting everything into the pot and leaving it to do its thing while you make the cornbread, which itself involves only a quick blitz and a bake. Christmas Eve dinners such as this are my go-to, because they’re warming and special, but don’t require a lot of time hovering over a stove. Feel free to halve (or eliminate) the number of jalapeños for a kid-friendly version.
1 hr 35 mins
For the chilli
3 jalapeños, roughly chopped – if you prefer less heat, remove the pith and seeds
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1½ tbsp oregano leaves
6 spring onions, roughly chopped
30g coriander, plus 3 tbsp leaves, finely chopped, to serve
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp honey
60ml olive oil
75g pancetta, cubed
1kg diced pork shoulder, patted dry
1 lime, halved
500ml chicken stock
For the cornbread
300g frozen corn kernels, defrosted
200g quick-cook polenta
50g runny honey
150g Greek-style yoghurt
80g unsalted butter, melted
1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 spring onion, roughly chopped
1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1. For the chilli, put the first eight ingredients in a food processor, blitz until finely chopped, then transfer four tablespoons of the mixture to a small bowl.
2. Put two tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan on a medium-high heat and, once hot, fry the pancetta for a minute or two, until it starts to brown. Add the diced pork and fry, stirring once or twice, for six minutes, until lightly browned all over. Add the blitzed ingredients and a teaspoon and a half of salt, and fry for eight minutes more, stirring every now and then. Add the two lime halves, stock and 150ml water, bring to a simmer, then turn the heat to medium-low, cover and leave to simmer for 70 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make the cornbread. Heat the oven to 190C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6, and grease and line a 22cm cake tin. Put all the cornbread ingredients and three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt in a blender or food processor, and blitz until everything is well combined. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and bake for 25 minutes, then turn down the heat to 170C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4 and bake for six minutes more.
4. Add the last two tablespoons of oil to the reserved jalapeño and onion mixture and stir into the chilli with the chopped coriander, then serve direct from the pan with the warm cornbread alongside.