Chilli with Cornmeal Dumplings

I’m a bit behind in posts at the moment, and thought I’d leave this recipe until next winter, but as I’ve been on a road trip in Victoria and the weather was decidedly cold, I thought I’d carry on.

So, here is my Chilli, a one pot dinner, and total comfort food for those cold rainy nights. It’s also a great dish to take when camping (as my daughter has discovered). The dumplings aren’t too hard to prepare, cooking on top of the chilli, and it gives you time to sit around the campfire while you down a beer and chat about the meaning-of-life.

I like to serve it with a spoonful of thick natural yoghurt, chopped spring onions, and rice on the side. My daughters, on the other hand prefer grated vintage cheddar, avocado, and extra chilli. My husband, goes with the flow, and pours the wine. Either way, it’s great on these last chilly days of spring (no pun intended), always great in winter, and never goes astray on a camping trip. Enjoy.


  • Chilli with Black Beans
  • Serves 8, generously
  • 1k coarsely minced pork/veal
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 x 400g tins crushed tomatoes
  • 750ml Guiness, or dark beer
  • 2 x 400g tins black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Fresh marjoram, chopped spring onions, and natural yoghurt to serve
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large cast iron casserole over a medium heat, add onion, garlic and spices, and cook until just soft. Add meat, and cook stirring occasionally until brown. Add tomatoes, bay leaves and beer. Top with water just to cover, and simmer gently over a low heat for about 3 hours. After this time, liquid should be reduced and the meat tender. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, then fold in black beans, drop in dumplings and cook for 20 minutes. When ready, stir in the parsley, scatter with sprigs of marjoram and serve with dollops of thick natural yoghurt and chopped spring onions.


  • ¼ cup plus 2tbsp yellow cornmeal
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tbsp chopped spring onion
  • 1tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • ¾ cup finely chopped parsley
  • 3tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • Sea salt flakes

Mix together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, a decent pinch of sea salt flakes, spring onions, lemon zest, parsley and cheese in a medium bowl. Add butter, and blend in with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add milk, and stir with a fork just until a dough forms.

Roll dough into 2.5cm balls. add all at once to simmering chilli. Cover and cook undisturbed until dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.