Simple Beef and Kidney Bean Chilli

16 May

I made some beef stock which required 3 kilos of beef osso bucco, and needed a recipe to use up the leftover meat. Since I used my The New Best Recipe book from America’s Test Kitchen (a 2009 Christmas gift from Kyoto) to make the stock I figured I’d stick with the same book and make up a bit pot of chilli.

Unfortunately I think I used the wrong kind of chilli powder – mine says “hot chilli powder”, and holy crap was it hot. James liked it (though I heard him blowing his nose heaps) but it was nearly inedible for me, even though I dumped a lot of Greek yoghurt in to cool it down. Aside from the taste, the main problem was when I first started frying the spices.

It was alright at the start – some sneezing, and a bit of coughing here and there. But it gradually built up so James and I were both coughing – this dry, really unpleasant hacking cough.

And then the cats started coughing.

I felt so bad! I kept wailing “I’m so sorry!!” but they seemed to take little comfort in that. All I could do was pat them on the back as they did their adorable little kitten coughs. Then afterwards I saw them desperately drinking from the water bowl.

Curse you chilli! You were not nearly tasty enough to justify the chemical warfare involved in your preparation! Ignoring the crazy spiciness, it did turn out beautifully thick and tender, so I will use this method again (though re-adjusting the chilli powder). It made enough for 6.


  • 2 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 medium red capsicum, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chilli powder (NOT hot chilli powder or you will regret it)
  • 1 TBSP ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 kg 85% lean ground beef (I used about 2kg of osso bucco cut into big chunks and leftover from making beef stock)
  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans (I used regular ones), drained and rinsed
  • 800g can diced tomatoes
  • 800g can tomato puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions, capsicum, garlic and spices and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown.
  2. Increase the heat to medium high and add the beef. Cook until no longer pink.
  3. Add the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for an hour.
  4. Remove the lid and simmer 1 hour longer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the chilli is dark, rich and slightly thickened. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt.
  5. If possible, make it a day in advance and reheat before serving.
Very Rough Nutritional Guide:
1 serving: 601 calories, 52% fat, 29% protein, 19% carbs
(using 1kg beef mince like the recipe indicates, instead of my version. 52% fat seems high? I don’t know if that’s right!)

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