Planning to make this dish couldn’t have been better timed. The weather is cold, and all you want to do is cuddle up at home and eat honest, hearty winter warmer food. This kind of food is not only easy to make (however will need you to be somewhat organized if using dried red kidney beans, as their soaking time takes a while), but it’s also very easy and versatile to adjust things to personal preference. If you like things very hot, add some chillies, or if you’re more in the mild camp reduce the amount. You can also add your favourite ingredients, even if I haven’t included them. This recipe makes chilli with a little bit of heat, but for my liking is on the milder side. This makes a big batch and serves about 6-8, and is perfect served with rice or jacket potatoes.
250g mince beef
2-3 dl dried red kidney beans (if using ready to use, tinned, 1-2 cans)
1 onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3-4 small, hot chillies, finely chopped (I used a mixture of red and green)
1 lemon, squeezed
1 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp cumin powder
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
3 dl frozen sweetcorn
1 red pepper, deseeded chopped
4 medium size chestnut mushrooms, chopped
splash of vegetable oil
1. If using dried red kidney beans, soak them overnight, or put them to soak in the morning, and they should be soaked when you cook them in the evening. Once soaked, discard the soaking water. Place in a pan, and cover generously with fresh water. Bring to boil, and let boil vigorously for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature, and simmer for another 50 minutes. The reason for this is because raw red kidney beans contain a very high level of toxin called Phytohaemagglutinin, which will be destroyed and reduced to a level where it’s not harmful.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan. I tend to use a wok pan, because I always make a lot of it. Fry the onion in the oil, until starting to get translucent. Add the mince beef. Fry, breaking into small pieces, until just about cooked.
3. Add the garlic and chillies. Once cooked, add the peppers, mushrooms and all the spices (not sugar). Stir together well, and fry for a minute or two. Add the chopped tomatoes, lemon juice and sugar. If the texture appears too dry, add some water.
4. Last, add the beans and sweetcorn, stir together and cook until everything is warmed through. Taste, and add any spices to your taste if required. If you think you would like your chilli to be hotter (as It all depends on your personal preference, and the hotness of the chillies you used), you could add some cayenne chilli pepper powder.