Free Range Pork Chilli with Lime, Chocolate and Coco Cola

This recipe from Zoe’s Farm which supplies local, free range pork, is perfect for an informal, impromptu supper. There’s a couple of twists on the more familiar beef chilli and I think pork works much better than beef. The cola and peppers add a sublime sweetness, subtly tempered by the acidity of the lime and bitterness of the chocolate. Both chocolate and limes have a history dating back to Aztec culture in Mexico. Those ancients didn’t miss a trick. Have it with fragrant basmati rice (I know, but you can’t beat a bit of Basmati), a side of quinoa or in a tortilla with a dollop of crème fraiche and a sprinkling of coriander. It’s up to you. It’s just an easy going supper with a few mates.


2kg Minced Free Range Pork
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 large onion (finely chopped)
2 medium sweet red or yellow peppers
1 tin of Kidney Beans (drained and rinsed)
4 fat Cloves of Garlic (finely chopped)
4 tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of coarsely ground black pepper
Salt to taste
Juice of 2 limes
1 Can of good Coca Cola (not diet!)
3 – 6 good sized green Birds Eye Chillies, chopped finely (however hot you can take it)
4 chunks/half an average bar of good quality, bitter dark chocolate
1 litre of water
Fresh Coriander (chopped) to garnish


Firstly, you need to prepare your sweet peppers in advance. These are to be roasted to bring out the sweetness. Place the peppers in an ovenproof dish and roast them on a high setting (220/gas mark 7) for 40 -50 minutes, turning occasionally, until they look slightly collapsed and charred in places. Remove from the oven and place in an airtight plastic bag that is well sealed. Leave them for at least half an hour. Once cooled, unwrap the peppers, peel away the skin (which should now come off easily), scrape away the seeds and chop into pieces. Put these into a bowl to add later.
Using a large frying pan, gently fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add the minced pork and fry on a fierce heat, keeping it moving in a chopping motion, so the strands separate, until the mince is cooked through and any watery residue has evaporated. Lower the heat, add the garlic, cumin and chillies and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, lime juice, coca cola, salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes. Transfer to a large pan or cooking pot and add the water, kidney beans, roasted peppers and chocolate, stirring until the chocolate has melted. Reduce the heat to as low as you can go, cover the pan and leave it to simmer for 2 to 3 hours or longer if you can wait, checking occasionally to ensure it isn’t drying out. If, after this time, the sauce is still quite liquid, turn up the heat and keep stirring until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
Transfer to a large bowl so people can help themselves and sprinkle generously with fresh coriander.

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