Four Bean Chilli

Posted By Kerri


I won’t go into too much detail about this as we’ve cooked it several times before, albeit with varying varieties of bean (it’s a great way of using up small amounts of beans that are hanging around in the cupboard, just make sure they are of a similar size).

What I did do differently this time is cook the dried beans without having soaked them first, as per Rick Bayless’ comments in his book “Mexican Kitchen”. Although opinion varies on this, he maintains that there is no scientific evidence to prove that soaked beans aid digestion, they just cook quicker. The only way to cope with the digestive issues is to eat more beans. We eat them a lot so I figured we would try it this way and see what happens. I prefer dried beans to tinned because I find they keep their firmness and don’t break down but I’m not always organised enough to remember to soak them overnight.

This seems to vary slightly each time I make it but the main recipe stays the same. We have a new oven so I realised that the garlic and chilli didn’t need 30 minutes at 190 but just 15 minutes, I guess our thermostat must have been off previously. I also used two tins of tomatoes. Aside from that, the only other thing I did differently was omit the cumin, simply because I didn’t have any.

Bean Chilli
Serves Four (if served with rice or baked potatoes)

4 tbsp olive oil
2 large red chillies, roasted, deseeded and pulped
4 garlic cloves, roasted and then pulped
2 tsp ground cumin – not this time but I would usually use it
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 tsp chipotle chilli powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp smoked paprika
Glass red wine
1 large onion, finely chopped
500ml beef stock
2 tins chopped tomatoes (800g)
2 tbsp tomato purée
Salt and pepper
Bay leaf
500g mixed, dried beans
1 tsp cocoa powder
Handful chopped coriander

Roast the chillies and garlic in the oven for about 15 minutes, on 190 degrees, before removing from the oven leaving to cool down. Remove the seeds from the chilli and squash together with the garlic.

Boil the dried beans for 1 hour 15 minutes (or until just tender) and then rinse well.

Grind the coriander seed and cumin together in a mortar and pestle and transfer to a bowl, mix with the chilli powder, cinnamon and paprika.

Soften the onions in a frying pan with some salt, add the garlic and chilli pulp to the softened onions with the tomato puree and let it cook together for a couple of minutes. Into this mixture, add the powdered spices and cook for a further couple of minutes. Deglaze with some madeira and allow the alcohol to cook out.

Next, add the stock, tomatoes and the bay leaf and season. Allow to cook for about half an hour before adding the beans, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for an hour and a half.

Remove from the heat and refrigerate overnight. Add the cocoa powder and reheat. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

As ever, I didn’t cook this last night so left it to cool for four hours before reheating.

The lack of cumin seemed to make quite a difference to the overall flavour, it wasn’t quite as deep and round as it normally is. Nor was it as hot as usual but chilli strength can vary so this is always a bit of an unknown.

Nov 12th, 2009

6 Comments to 'Four Bean Chilli'

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  1. I love cumin and must admit to adding it to dishes that don’t really require it!
    .-= gourmet chick´s last blog ..Roast =-.

  2. Helen said,

    That looks lovely Kerri, and congratulations for taking a good photo of bean chilli, mine always looks terrible.

    I find even soaking the beans in boiling water and bicarb for half an hour dramatically reduces the cooking time.

  3. Kerri said,

    I wasn’t a huge fan of cumin to begin with, GC, but I can really appreciate the depth of flavour it lends to dishes now.

    Thanks, Helen. Rick reckons there’s no benefit to adding bicarb. either. I guess it’s all about working out what suits you best.

  4. Jeanne said,

    Yum. For some reason I never think to make chilli only with beans (we always end up with chilli con carne) – but I really have to give it a go. All I fear is the effct that it may have on hubby’s digestive system…!
    .-= Jeanne´s last blog ..Mirabelle and ginger jam =-.

  5. Kerri said,

    I can now report that that I didn’t notice any digestive difference from not soaking the beans, Jeanne but you may not want to take a chance! (I’m so glad this is hidden away in a comment where less people are likely to see it!)

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