Best Ever Chilli, serves 4 for £1.18, or just under 30p per portion.
This is one of my favourite staple dishes, and flicking through my blog recipes the other night I was surprised it wasn’t on here. Oh dear me, I thought, I’m going to have to make me some chilli. To be honest I can’t face another courgette tonight, so here’s my best chilli recipe. So good I eat it from the pan!
Since Sainsburys have hiked up the price of kidney beans, I’ve bought dried ones. I had a very bad experience with some dried beans once that I’d left to soak too long and they’d sprouted – I was so violently ill that I was convinced I was dying. I lived to tell the tale but I’ve learned my lesson, I only soak beans first thing in the morning to use for my dinner that evening now! Soaking beans isn’t much of a hassle; pop them in a dish, cover them in water and then some, clingfilm over the top and pop in a microwave or somewhere away from kittens and children…
75g dried black beans, 16p (£1.09/500g)
75g dried haricot beans, 16p (£1.09/500g)
1 onion, 5p (part of a 20pc vegetable selection, £1)
75ml red table wine, 34p (£3.48/750ml)
1 carton chopped tomatoes, 35p
3 squares dark chocolate, 6p (31p/bar with 15 squares in a bar)
Shake of paprika, 3p approx (£1.19/50g)
Shake of cumin, 2p approx (80p/46g)
1 small chilli, free (grows on my window ledge)
1 vegetable stock cube, 1p (10p for 10)
1. Firstly, soak your beans! As described above, pop them in a bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak for 8+ hours. I do mine first thing in the morning so they’re ready for dinner in the evening.
2. Evening/meal preparation time! Drain and rinse your beans and bring to the boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and stir occasionally. These will need to cook for about 20-30 minutes, depending on how ‘well soaked’ they were.
3. Meanwhile… Peel and dice the onion and add to a large sauté pan with the chopped chilli.
4. Add the wine, chopped tomatoes, crumbled stock cube, paprika and cumin, and simmer all together on a low heat.
5. When the beans have softened, drain and add to the sauce. Add the chocolate and stir until the beans are heated through and the chocolate is melted.
I served mine with a large baked potato (5p, part of a 1.25kg mixed vegetable bag)* but sometimes do it with rice (3p for
a 75g portion, 40p/1kg rice)*
Make it posh variations (not all vegan!):
1. Add the juice of half a lemon as you add the tomatoes, and add crushed garlic to the onion for additional flavours.
2. Serve with a dollop of creme fraiche with chopped chives in, or lemon rind, or a heap of grated cheese.
3: Use a beef stock cube in place of a vegetable one for additional depth.
4. Add a generous tablespoon of tomato purée to thicken and add extra tomato flavour.
Jack Monroe. Twitter:@MsJackMonroe
*(Prices calculated at Sainsburys, using the Basics range where available. Costs checked on date of publication against ASDA SmartPrice, Tesco Value, Morrisons Value and Waitrose Essentials. Some variation between major supermarkets but most items widely available at similar price.)