Beef and Two Bean Chilli

Posted By Kerri


As UK readers will know, most of London had a Snow Day today. The last time I remember such a day I was eight and, running low on food supplies, we had to trudge to the top of the road to the local shop. It took us two hours to walk what would normally take 20 minutes and my poor brother had to trudge through snow that was almost up to his waist.

We don’t have a very large store cupboard but I like to think I’m pretty good at maximising the space available. Even though the chances of being stuck in the house and unable to leave are incredibly slim, I like to be well prepared for any culinary emergency. We weren’t housebound today but I was glad not to have to brave the cold and was able to find plenty of ingredients to use for dinner. Chilli seemed like an obvious choice given the arctic temperatures so I selflessly left Stephen working beside the fire and braved the chilly kitchen.

The recipe we use originally comes from the Waitrose website, it’s stored in the Our Recipes section of the site but I’ve copied it again here because I increased the spices even further this time to allow for the extra beans.

4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
500g lean minced beef
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 large red chilli, deseeded and chopped
3 tsp hot chilli powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground cumin
600ml beef stock
400g tin chopped tomatoes
15g dark chocolate
Salt and pepper
150g red kidney beans
150g black beans

(You’ll need to remember to soak the beans overnight. The kidney beans should be boiled rapidly for 20 minutes then rinsed thoroughly before being added).

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion with some salt and fry gently until soft (about 15 minutes). Then add the garlic and continue to fry for two minutes.

Next, add the mince and fry until browned. Now, add the chilli, tomato puree and spices and fry for a further five minutes, stirring often to incorporate the spices into the mince.

Add the stock, tomatoes, kidney beans and chocolate and season. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 40 minutes until the meat is tender.

Add the black beans, bring to the boil again and simmer for a further hour.

[Stephen says:] With this we drank a Trimbach Alsace Riesling 2005.  Riesling has a reputation for matching spicy dishes well and often it does, but this time it didn’t quite go; the depth and meaty, spicy, chocolateyness of the chilli was a bit too much for it.  Then vainly tried some dry Amontillado, but too alcoholic to go with the spice.  As an afterthought, now trying a splash of Banyuls, which might have gone well, but not sure of the sweetness.

Feb 2nd, 2009

6 Comments to 'Beef and Two Bean Chilli'

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  1. Antonia said,

    What perfect food for a chilly (…sorry, couldn’t resist…) day. It looks extrememly good.
    Wine-wise, could I suggest trying a good quality Zinfandel? I think they work well with red-meat based spicy food. Lots of ripe fruit, not too much tannin (which clashes horribly with spice) and and a good spicyness that is mirrored in the dish. Just a thought for next time – might work, might not!

    Antonia’s last blog post..Rhubarb and marzipan cake

  2. Sylvie said,

    You just can’t beat a good chili on a cold night.

    Sylvie’s last blog post..Marmorkuchen for Lucy (Marble Cake)

  3. Stephen said,

    Antonia, the Zinfandel sounds like a good idea, will definitely try it next time!

  4. Happy Cook said,

    I am bookmarking this recipe, i have been looking for a chillie recipe for so long and this really looks yumm.
    Here too it is snowing.

    Happy Cook’s last blog post..Mocha Walnut Choco Chip Muffin

  5. Kerri said,

    You’re right Sylvie!

    Happy Cook – we got the seasoning spot on this time, good background heat but not too hot that you couldn’t taste all the other spices. Hope you like it!

  6. Ros said,

    It’s funny how as soon as it gets really, properly cold that you don’t only want dishes with temperature heat but spice heat. I went to spend the day with Andy when school got cancelled yesterday and by the time I got home I was in need of a highly spiced balti curry, which fortunately was also do-able from storecupboard alone.

    I see you’ve gone for Cincinatti chilli style spicing this time. I also prefer this at this time of year but when it is warmer I suddenly drop the chocolate and cinammon and switch to more red-pepper, coriander leaf and jalapeno flavourings with loads of tabasco. I love the versatility of chilli.

    I second the zinfandel suggestion.

    Ros’s last blog post..A First Time For Everything

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