This recipe was the subject of several years’ refinement. Serves 4-6. Enjoy!
- Mince - 500g
- Onion - chopped
- Ground cumin - 2tsp+1tsp
- Salt - I use coarse rock salt, 2tsp
- Black pepper (pref. freshly ground) (see note below re amount)
- Mustard powder (ditto)
- Chilli - I use EPC's Very Lazy (ditto)
- Cayenne pepper - 1tsp
- Oregano - 2tsp
- Beef stock - I use the Oxo-branded liquid stock, 2tsp
- Garlic - 3 cloves, crushed, or 3tsp of EPC Very Lazy
- 1 pepper (the vegetable - Bell or Ramiro work very well) - chopped
- Kidney beans - 1 tin approx 400g - drained and rinsed
- Tomato purée (optional - see note below)
- Chopped tomatos - 1 tin approx 400g - or equivalent amount of fresh tomato (ditto)
- Brown off the mince in a little oil. Really brown it off, not just pseudo-boiled to grey, so it's going crispy and brown on the outside - so turn up your stove a little but take care to not burn.
- Add onion and 2tsp cumin
- Stir fry for 2-3 minutes
- Add everything else, and some water - I use an empty tin to measure, which comes in at 400-450ml
- Simmer for 25-30 mins. It will reduce; mind it doesn't get too dry, add more water if necessary.
- Serve with your choice of rice, nachos and grated cheese on top.
Spice level calibration
For a basic just-warm chilli, I started with the following quantities:
- Black pepper - ½ tsp
- Mustard powder - ½ tsp
- VL Chilli - 1tsp
Spice lovers will find this a bit tame; I tend to use double these quantities when cooking for myself or for friends known to enjoy a little spice. If I wanted a really hot one I’d experiment with a trebling or quadrupling of the base amount. (Calibration note: I enjoy a little spice, but not super-hot; a Madras or Jalfrezi tends to be my upper limit at Indian restaurants here in Cambridge.)
I must stress that these quantities are only known good with EPC’s Very Lazy Chilli, which consist of dried chillies, well chopped (seeds included), in vinegar. I have no data on alternatives - you’re on your own!
Citric acid free chilli
Mad? Not at all. I was cooking for a citric acid intolerant friend, so just left out the tomatoes and added a bit more water to compensate. It worked really well.