Spilling the Beans Part II

In Recipes on August 8, 2011 at 3:57 am

I find the best time for long slow cooking is Sunday afternoon.  You have Saturday to get your ingredients together and to do any pre-preparation that may be required i.e. marinating, soaking pulses etc.  In the case of my Mexican chilli beans you must soak the dried red kidney beans, or black turtle beans, for at least twenty-four hours before use.  People think that this is too complicated but it really is just a matter of pouring the beans into a large bowl, covering them with cold water and leaving them on the bench overnight.  When I make these beans I do a large amount and freeze some in meal sized containers for later use.  These beans can be eaten in a number of ways.  They can be served simply warmed up with rice and sour cream or they can be roughly mashed with a handful of grated cheese melted through and used as a filling for burritos, tacos or quesadillas.  You can brown some meat and add one or two containers to make a meat and bean chilli or you could warm them in a pan with an egg or two cooked on top for the tasty breakfast dish huevos rancheros.  If you want to turn up the heat you can add some fresh chilli when re-heating.

A versatile dish

Mexican Chilli Beans  


500 g dried red kidney beans or black turtle beans

4 cans diced Italian tomatoes

1 cup water

4 onions (finely sliced)

3-4 cloves garlic (minced)

2 fresh jalapeno chillies (chopped)

1 tbs ground cumin

1 tbs ground coriander

2 tsp cocoa powder

1/2-1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp fennel powder

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp sea salt

peanut oil


Drain and rinse the soaked beans.  Place them in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer covered for 4o-45 mins. or until tender.  Drain and set aside.  Measure all spices and cocoa into a bowl, set aside.  Heat a little oil in a large pot, gently fry the onions, jalapeno chillies and garlic.  Add the spices and cook gently for 1 min.  Add the tomatoes, water and beans.  Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 2 hours stirring regularly to make sure nothing is catching on the bottom. Serve in any way you prefer.   This recipe makes a large quantity so I would advise freezing at least half of it or making it when you are having a lot of people over!

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