Double-yummy chilli stuffed baked potatoes

These jacket potatoes are filled with a rich and spicy beef and bean chilli.

  • Preparation Time30 mins
  • Cooking Time90 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy

For the potatoes

6 large baking potatoes (about 1.35kg), scrubbed
140g mature cheddar cheese, grated
55g unsalted butter
2 tsp salt
3 spring onions (white and green), minced
Freshly ground black pepper

For the chilli

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp salt, plus more as needed
1 tbsp ancho chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tsp ground cumin
0.5 tsp ground coriander seeds
2 whole cloves
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tinned chipotle chillies in adobo, coarsely chopped, with 1 tbsp of sauce
4 whole, tinned peeled tomatoes, drained
450g minced beef
1 (430g) tin kidney beans, rinsed and drained
350ml Mexican lager
1 spring onion (white and green), finely chopped, for garnish
Sour cream for garnish
To prepare the potatoes:
1) Preheat the oven to 220C/Gas 7.

2) Place the potatoes directly onto the middle oven shelf and bake for about 1 hour, until easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Whilst the potatoes are baking, make the chilli:
1) Heat the oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and salt, and cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned and fragrant.

2) Add the ancho chilli, oregano, cumin, coriander and cloves and cook, stirring, until dark and fragrant, about 45 seconds. Add the tomato puree and chipotle. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes while adding them to the saucepan and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the chipotle and tomato mixture is dark red.

3) Add the beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and cook, for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well-browned. Add the beans and beer and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and fragrant.

To assemble the baked potatoes:
1) Lay the potatoes on the side they naturally roll to, and carefully cut a shallow oval out of the tops to make 6 lids. Gently scrape most of the potato from the lids and transfer to a large bowl. Reserve the lids.

2) Scoop out the insides from four of the potatoes, leaving the shells intact, and add to the large bowl. Scoop out the insides of the remaining two potatoes and put into a small bowl. Set aside and reserve for another use (see Cook's Note).

3) Add 50g of the cheese, the butter, salt and minced spring onion to the large bowl of potato and mash lightly with a fork. Season with pepper, to taste. Lightly season the insides of all six shells and lids with salt and pepper. Refill them with the potato mixture, pressing it into the bottom and against the sides.

4) Place the filled potatoes on a baking sheet and fill each to the brim with some of the chilli, piling as much as you can on top (you'll need the rest for later). Top the potatoes with the remaining cheese and place the potato lids, skin-side down, on a baking sheet. At this point you can transfer to a freezer-safe container to cook from frozen later. Please note, cooking times will increase when cooking from frozen and you may need to lower your oven temperature slightly.

5) Bake for about 12 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the potatoes are heated through and browned. Whilst the potatoes are baking, reheat the remaining chilli.

6) Transfer the potatoes to a serving platter and top each with a dollop of sour cream and chopped spring onion. Lean the potato lids against the sour cream and serve immediately, with the remaining chilli on the side for refills.

Cook's Note:
When we mashed up all the potato and stuffed it back in the spuds there wasn't any room for the chilli; do you want that? We didn't think so, that's why we only mash up four of the insides and use the rest for hash browns or croquettes.

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