We had some tins of ‘just past their best-by date’ beans and decided we may as well use them before they got way overdue. I’m not usually fussed about expired stuff and prefer to trust my eyes, nose and tongue before throwing it out. You can tell on sight if it looks wrong – bloated tin, rotting content, mould… If tin looks fine, open it and if it smells bad, definitely don’t use it. If it looks good and smells fine, give it a tiny nibble. If it’s sour or bitter and isn’t meant to be, then it’s a no-go.
I made a quick chilli that went with the sourdough bread I baked. It had more borlotti beans and chickpeas than ground beef making it slightly healthier – at least, I’d like to think so. Of course, you can play around with using all beans, or adding in some root vegetables like pumpkin and sweet potato instead of meat, or you can use all ground meat. This recipe is so versatile and you can pretty much put in whatever’s in your fridge.
I did not bother to edit my photos so lighting makes it look a little yellow. I can assure you though, this was really hearty and so easy to make. We had enough to feed us for dinner with a little leftover for the freezer. You can eat this with rice, bread, crackers, potatoes or pasta.
Chilli (Feeds 6-8 people)
300g ground beef
1 tin borlotti beans (or kidney beans), drained and rinsed
1 tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 red pepper, diced
Coriander root (optional)
250g beef stock
400g passata (tomato puree)
3 Tbsp tomato paste
Chilli spice mix:
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
(You can add or subtract depending on what herbs you have available and level of spice you’d like to have.)
1 tsp dried mixed Italian seasoning (or dried oregano)
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Heat pan on medium with some olive oil. Saute onion, garlic, carrots and red peppers until soft. About 5min.
- Turn up heat and add beef and coriander root. Brown the beef.
- Add in chilli spice mix. Fry for a few seconds.
- Add in beef stock, tinned tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with dried herbs, bay leaf and balsamic vinegar. Add borlotti beans and chickpeas. Stir through then bring to boil. Turn down heat to simmer for an hour and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
After bringing to the boil, throw it into the slow cooker for about 6 hours for all the flavours to meld. Then season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
You don’t need much else because the chilli itself is flavourful on its own. BUT, if you have some of these on hand, you may want to garnish your plate with them – lime, avocado slices, jalapeños, fresh coriander.