Skip to content

Mumma Jacks Best Ever Chilli, 30p

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…

20130205-191856.jpg

Ingredients:*

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)

How to:

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.)

About these ads

42 replies »

  1. Ideally you should boil the soaked beans for a good 10 mins before you turn the pan down to a simmer. This will ensure that all the toxins are boiled out. I forgot this once and was pretty poorly afterwards :-(

    Apart from this a brilliant recipe and one I’ll be trying very soon.

    Sue xx

      • This is the one warning I remember from my grandmother, to avoid being poisoned you must boil soaked kidney beans for 10mins! I just found this more informative info on the web, so please Jack, don’t rely on your slow simmer!

        “Be aware that raw kidney beans contain a toxin called phytohemagglutinin, which is destroyed by boiling the beans for at least 10 minutes prior to slow cooking. Therefore, kidney beans cannot be enjoyed in their raw, sprouted form (as some other beans are). If you are going to slow cook them at a more moderate temperature please remember to boil them first for the required 10 minutes.”

    • Mole, or molé as it’s pronounced is just a sauce that uses chocolate as a base. It’s a very common dish which I think comes from Mexico originally. I also use the same system as Jack’s delicious looking recipe (I haven’t tried her version yet), you can add dark chocolate(*) to quite a few dishes with great success.

      Enjoying looking through the other recipes, I’ll certainly be trying a few!

      *= Since I don’t live in the UK I don’t know what you can get for chocolate, but normally 70% (min. cocoa) dark chocolate is the best to cook with, bitter, dry and sweet, but tasty!

      • That’s right. It’s called Mole poblano I believe and it’s a thick chocolate base sauce with turkey. it also has something like a 100 spices. I add a square of value dark chocolate at the very end too. BBC good food suggested it.

  2. I use baked beans in my chilli as gives it tomatoy taste and I don’t do spicey so helps with that and with my little one eating it too. There are some great recipes on here, I can’t wait to try them out, as like you I’m a single parent and struggle to find different homemade recipes that are healthy and in my price range. Thanks very much for this fab site and all that you do :)

    Helen :)

  3. I made this tonight (burnt my mouth as I couldn’t wait to try it!) but I found, as I have previously that dried beans stay a bit to crunchy for my liking compared to canned beans, otherwise delicious :)

  4. I just made this tonight with a can of kidney beans (those dried beans are out of my comfort zone). It was absolutely delicious. Thank you so much, I find your recipes very easy to follow.

    • Sainsburys Basics range do a mixed vegetable pack, 1.25kg, which has had anything from 16 to 22 pieces in – carrots, parsnips, onions and potatoes.

      Morrisons sell a bag of onions for 49p and a bag of carrots for 49p.

      I’m not sure about the other supermarkets because I haven’t investigated yet! But they all seem to have identikit value ranges.

  5. What have you done with the other 90% of the red wine? At about £3. You’re certainly not living on a tenner a week when you’re spending 35% of that money on a bottle of red wine.

    • Hi Chris,

      I bought the wine with ‘leftover’ money from my budget – I throw change into a pot when there is any, and use it for things like wine, spices etc. The red wine in question is sitting under my sink, and I’ll use it for something else in the future. (The same way as I don’t use a bag of rice in a week – I keep the remains in my cupboard and don’t have to buy more til it runs out).

      I’m not suggesting that everyone lives a carbon copy of my life, I’m just describing what *I* did.

      And yes, I do live on a tenner a week. It’s just been such a long term thing that occasionally I can ‘splash out’ on some wine to cook with, or a pot of garam masala.

      Jack.

  6. Great idea to chuck leftover pennies and other coins into a tin. They soon mount up and can be used for occasional treats. Important to have treats. This sounds delicious but I’m not taking any chances on soaking beans! I’ve heard of chocolate in chilli before. Also worth checking out reduced counters just before a supermarket closes if you can be arsed! The bargains my dear can be stunning!

  7. Well said Jack. I think that your blog is truely inspiring. We’ll all take something different from your blog. Your courage and stoicism when times must have been very desperate and your more considered attitude to food, stuff and belongings. The important thing is that you have got people THINKING and TALKING about really important issues.

  8. Pretty astounding that you live such a frugal life with little wasteful spending and you are jumped on for daring to treat yourself with £3 on a bottle of red wine. How dare you ever spend more than £10 a week on your food shopping.

    Going to try this recipe with mince (I can’t do without protein) but in the spirit of things I will use the mince sparingly.

    • There’s plenty of protein in the beans!
      If you need to do protein cheap it’s better (imo) to get it from beans and pulses etc. than from cheap meat. If you’re using beef I find lean mince is better as the budget stuff often gives up a bit too much fat and makes it all taste a bit funny.
      Sneaky not-quite-veg-but-no-mince trick: chuck a beef stock cube or two in.

  9. Does anyone have any tips for getting my dried beans to have, um, less bite? I soaked ours for 8 – 10 hours and cooked as per instructions and they were still a bit too crunchy for my liking. This is an awesome recipe and will be repeated here and I *will* get those beans softer. Thank you yet again Jack. Amazed you manage to keep so calm in response to the trolls.

    • As well as the salt – never add it to any pulses until fully cooked, and goes for stock cubes too. Also try to buy dried pulses from somewhere that sells a lot. Old dried beans don’t go “off” but you can boil them till the end of time and they won’t soften.

  10. I’m also shocked at the way people basically straight-up call you a liar over the fact that you have, once in a blue moon, spent three whole pounds on a bottle of wine. I don’t understand why people are so hell-bent on tripping each other up. I love the recipe; thank you for sharing it.

    • I know.
      And you know what – as I said on BBC Breakfast – sometimes friends come over for dinner and ‘shock horror’ BRING WINE, and we don’t always drink it all and ‘shock horror’ I cook with it. Which makes me terribly middle class and not really poor at all. Apparently.

  11. I had a frugal chilli yesterday. Tin of toms, tin of kidney beans, reduced tin of mince, a few spices and dried chilli flakes. Worked out at about 75p per serving. I thought I did well, but you’ve blown me out of the water!

  12. Excellent recipe, Jack. I’ve never added chocolate to chilli before – thanks for the idea..

    I’ve been veggie for 35 years and always prepare my red beans by boiling without salt for 10 minutes then simmering for 45 to 60 minutes; they’re never crunchy.

  13. I think I’m being blind, but does this recipe need kidney beans? You mention them in the bit before, but they’re not in the ingredients list :)

    Very excited to try this and to persuade my husband that a chilli doesn’t have to have meat!

  14. I just used this recipe in quesidillas for my children. Made up a dough using some plain flour, a pinch of salt and water, which I rolled out and fried in a hot, non stick pan to make tortillas. Then mashed up some chilli, spread on one tortilla, a sprinkling of cheddar cheese, topped with a second tortilla and placed back in the pan until cheese melted.

    Delicious. Kids didn’t touch them, mind

  15. I came across your blog after hearing about it on the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme. Thanks for the recipe ideas and this chilli sounds great. I’ve stayed away from using dried beans in the past but I’ll give them a go now you’ve explained a little more about using them – I know you’ve talked a bit about Jamie O on this blog and it was one of his recipes which put me off dried beans, well, dried chickpeas certainly!

  16. Can’t get enough of this bad boy! I currently have about 10 portions in the freezer so we always have some to hand :-) both myself and my 1 year old adore it! I do have to make it in large batches though, otherwise I drink all the leftover wine and eat all the leftover chocolate!!! Whoops

  17. I had a go at this tonight, with chopped carrots substituting one lot of beans, and it was delicious if a little sweet for my tastes. Made enough for three portions. This is an amazing resource if your money is limited. Thank you so much.

  18. I’m confused, does this need kidney beans? Liv asked this afew months ago, as you talk about kidney beans in the intro but they are not included in the ingredients list, but I can’t seem to find an answer. Hoping to make this for tea on saturday

    Thanks for all the awesome recipes, made your carrot cumin & kidney bean burgers tonight, they were delicious.

  19. I sometimes freeze left over wine in the ice cube tray. You couldn’t drink after thawing it but it’s fine for cooking. It works with both red and white.

  20. From a senior citizen in the US….Congratulations on your innovation. Have had times of plenty and times of lean in my life…the times of lean have always spurred greater creativity! Am following you now as am back in a lean time and living alone…therefore your recipes will no doubt go much further in saving me dollars (and since I had a heart attack a couple of years ago, I have found that less expensive food is usually healthier for me!)

  21. I saw you on the Big Benefits Row and really agreed with alot of the points you made. Alot of people have told me about your recipes so thoguht i would have a look at them today and i am so impressed! It is so hard to find tasty vegeterian recipes that are cheap too and simple. As soon as i get paid i am going to Sainsburys to try some of your ideas and i cant wait :D Thank you!

Any thoughts? Comment below!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 74,179 other followers

%d bloggers like this: