Here’s another recipe to help you hit your 5-a-day. This recipe makes a huge batch of chilli meaning it’s ideal for feeding a crowd! Or what I like to do is stock the frezer up with portions of healthy dinners for when I’m short on time. It will happily keep in the fridge for 4-5 days and the best bit is the flavours actually improve. It also freezes really well. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, most of the spices and condiments you should already have in your cupboards and if you don’t it’s worth buying them as they can be used in hundreds of other recipes.
Adding flavour with spices and herbs is a really healthy way to cook. You get all the taste without relying on sugary or processed ingredients. Not only that but many spices are also a brilliant source of nutrients, essential oils, minerals and vitamins. If you have an oriental supermarket nearby take a look inside next time you pass as often they sell big packets of spices and herbs for a fraction of the cost of supermarkets.
Star anise is an antioxidant that can help prevent disease, it’s particularly good for settling the stomach. It’s a source of complex B vitamins that are excellent for our mental health. Bay leaves are a rich source of vitamin A, foods rich in vitamin A can help protect against certain cancers. Cumin is great for aiding digestion and nutmeg is used in many traditional medicines as an anti-depressant.
Using spices doesn’t mean you have to add heat. Lots of spices are fragrant and aromatic rather than fiery and hot. Just remember when it comes to the hotter spices add them gradually – you can always add more but it’s difficult to take it away. The amounts in the recipe are just a guide, make up the spice mix but just add a little then taste as you go, you’ll be able to get the right heat level for you. You can always serve the dish with a pot of chilli flakes or fresh sliced chillies so that anyone who likes their chilli really hot can add extra while they eat!
I like to serve this with homemade guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream or yogurt and grated cheese. But you could serve with rice, a baked potato or sweet potato, slaw….whatever takes your fancy!! Happy cooking.
Beef, Black Bean & Vegetable Chilli
Makes 10 portions
FOR THE SPICE MIX
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp onion granules
2 tsp garlic granules
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp mild chilli powder
½ tsp chipotle chilli flakes
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 star anise
3-4 bay leaves
FOR THE LIQUID SEASONING
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp mild chipotle sauce
2 tbsp malt vinegar
FOR THE CHILLI
Drizzle olive or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
300g carrots, diced
200g celery, diced
1 large leek, finely chopped
900g extra lean minced beef or turkey (less than 5% fat is best)
250ml red wine
250g mushrooms, diced
1 large courgette chopped
1 large pepper or a few small peppers, deseeded and chopped
two 400g cans plum tomatoes
500ml beef or veal stock (the veal stock adds a great favour, I use Essential cuisine Veal stock mix which you can get from good delis and farm shops or Lakeland)
Bouquet Garni (bundle of herbs tied together – bay, thyme, rosemary, fresh oregano if you can get it)
Two 400g cans black or kidney beans, rinsed and drained
25g dark chocolate
Combine the spice mix and the liquid seasoning and set aside. Heat the oil along with a big pinch of salt in a VERY large saucepan or your pressure cooker and then add the onions, carrots celery and leeks. Cook for 15 minutes, while stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the spice mix and the liquid seasoning and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next add the beef, cook until browned, using your wooden spoon to break up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the wine and bubble to reduce.
The rest of the veggies go in now, add them one at a time and give everything a really good stir letting it reduce down a bit before adding the next lot. Now the stock, canned tomatoes, some salt and pepper and the bouqet garni. Stir well and bring up to a gentle boil.
Pressure cooker: Once boiling put the lid on and lock, wait until it comes up to high pressure then turn down to the lowest heat and time 40 minutes, slowly reduce the pressure and then stir well, simmer for a few minutes uncovered if the mixture needs to thicken. Stir in the beans and chocolate. Allow to cool slightly before tasting and seasoning with black pepper and salt if it needs it.
Slow cooker: Transfer your mixture to a slow cooker, cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Stir in the beans and chocolate. Allow to cool slightly before tasting and seasoning with black pepper and salt if it needs it.
Hob: Gently simmer, the mixture should only just bubble, stirring occasionally for at least 2 hours, or longer if you can. Stir in the beans and chocolate. Allow to cool slightly before tasting and seasoning with black pepper and salt if it needs it. Remove the star anise, bouquet garni and bay leaves before serving.