A big bowl of chilli is definitely up there for me in terms of comfort food. I love a traditional meaty version with big chunks of beef. Don’t use frozen mince, that would just be a shame. Instead, buy a cut of beef suitable for long, slow stewing and spend the extra ten minutes chopping it up yourself. But I also love to make a beany version, which is easy on the wallet, as it’s made using store cupboard ingredients, and easy on the digestion, as it isn’t too heavy.
You can use any beans you like to make this version. I always use kidney beans, ubiquitous to chilli, and then add in chick peas (garbanzo beans) as they are filling and can take nice strong flavours. It would be good with cannellini beans, black eyed beans, or even butter beans. If you’re feeling super thrifty, buy the beans dried and cook as per packet instructions. I, however, have never had any luck using dried beans, so tend to stick to the precooked, canned variety.
This time, I made enough two bean chilli to last a couple of days, and served it slightly differently each time. Mainly so the children wouldn’t moan that we were having the same meal two days running. Because, of course, that is the worst thing that could ever happen. I know what you’re thinking; cunning. I could have frozen the leftovers, but in style typical to myself, I hadn’t planned dinner the following day, so this did the trick nicely.
On day one, we ate it with a big wedge of cornbread, and home made guacamole.
And on day two, the kids ate it with corn fritters, and I enjoyed mine with a beautiful side of steamed kale with black pepper and lemon juice. Bueno!
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, sliced and the seeds removed
- 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 410g tin of red kidney beans
- 1 410g tin chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or whatever other beans you feel like using.
- 200g sweetcorn
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp chipotle paste
- 1 tsp cumin (ground or seeds)
- 1 tsp coriander (or use a nice big handful of fresh coriander right at the end)
- the juice of half a lime
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil over a medium heat, and gently sweat the onion, red pepper, garlic and celery until they begin to soften. Don't let them catch or burn - add a little water if the pan becomes too dry.
- Next, add the cumin, chipotle paste and ground coriander and stir to coat the vegetables. Then drain and rinse the kidney beans and chickpeas and add these, too. It's important to rinse the beans. No one likes the slimy water they come in.
- At this point, add the tin of tomatoes, then refill the can with water, gently swirl around and add to the pan, along with the tomato puree. Stir, clamp on a lid, if you have one, and let the mixture simmer for at least half an hour, until you get a consistency you're happy with.
- 5-10 minutes before you're ready to serve, add the sweetcorn, squeeze in the lime juice and taste, then adjust the seasoning to your liking. At this point, sprinkle over a handful of chopped fresh coriander if you fancy.
- If you don't fancy rice with all those beans, serve with corn bread, or tortilla chips.