Since coming up with my Chunky Beef Chilli recipe, I've used it as a basis for a variety of meat chillies. This version of the recipe shows some of the variations I use; if you're trying to make this chilli with available ingredients, this may be useful in figuring out how to adapt it.

A trivial variation is to make half the quantity, which will serve three hungry people with a bowlful left over. If you have a very large pan then you could make one-and-a-half times or double the recipe, which works well for party catering.

Serves six very hungry people.

To cook this, you'll need a large pan with a lid (mine's a beaten-up Le Creuset), a good sharp chopping knife and board, a garlic press (or a lot of patience if you want to chop it by hand), a pepper grinder, and something to stir the chilli with. Our hob controls are labelled from 1 to 6, so I'll give heat directions in terms of that.

Notes before we start: whenever you stir this, make sure you scrape off anything that's stuck to the bottom of the pan. (Probably the kidney beans if you use cheap ones like I do.) Add a little water if necessary; it'll boil off easily enough.

Put enough olive oil in the pan to entirely cover the base, and turn the heat up to 3. Rinse the kidney beans, add to the oil, and stir. Chop two onions into thin strips and dice the other two, add to the pan, and stir. Cut the chilli peppers in half lengthways, then chop them into little strips crosswise (don't worry if you end up with the odd big bit of chilli left over; this isn't a problem). Turn the heat up to 4 and cook for a couple of minutes. Peel the garlic and crush it into the pan. Grind some black pepper into the pan, stir it all together, and let it cook until the onions are translucent.

If you're using chicken, add the chicken to the pan and cook until no visible pink remains. If you're using minced beef, then add to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes. If you're using diced beef, just add it to the pan and proceed immediately to the next step (cooking it with the tomatoes helps tenderise it).

Add all the remaining ingredients (plus some extra water so that everything's covered) and stir well, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the chilli is bubbling. Now turn the heat down to 3 and put the lid on the pan (to stop any more water from evaporating). For diced beef, cook for at least an hour; the longer the better. For chicken or minced beef, ten minutes will do (although longer won't hurt). Lift the lid and stir every 20 minutes or so to check it's not sticking or burning.

Serve with long-grain or basmati rice and grated Cheddar cheese.