You can tell from the title of this recipe that it has to be just a little bit vintage. I found it in my Mom’s recipe box when I was about seven years old and to my mind, it sounded very cool. I begged her to make it, but she never did, and over the years I forgot about it. But recently I found it in my Mom’s old recipe box, which she gave to me a couple years before she passed away. I’d actually re-written it as kid, so keen was I to bring it to her attention. Sadly I don’t remember what the original was written on, whether it was a newspaper clipping or where it came from. If I could, I’d have words with that seven year old me, but hey, she didn’t know that the grown up her would be so into food history and where recipes came from!
When I reviewed the recipe, I think I may have found the reason for Mom’s hesitation to make it. It was one very spicy meal, and my Dad was a meat and potatoes man back then. Spice really wasn’t his bag at all. Even though my family does like a bit of heat in their food, I did change the spicing quite a bit as otherwise I don’t think even I would have been able to eat it. Either that or the seven year old me made some boo boos when she was copying the recipe out! Anyway, the end result is this, and it really is delicious and very good for you. A bit meatier than normal chilli, with a bit of a southwestern feel, it makes a lovely meal on a cold or blustery night. You can serve it with toast on the side, or tortilla chips, or even some rice (brown or basmati would be best). That’s how British people eat their chilli, served over rice, and I’ve almost gotten used to it after all these years. It is great way to serve it if you need to stretch the recipe a bit to serve a few more people - but I’m going to be honest here and say I like whole grain toast best - or tortilla chips if they had no calories!
This recipe will serve four adults, and is easily doubled.
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 cloves of garlic
1 pound of beef chuck, stewing beef or braising steak, cut in chunks
(pastured, free range or organic if possible)
1 to 2 teaspoons chilli powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 red or green pepper, de-seeded and cut in chunks
1 - 14 ounce (about 400 grams) can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
(If you want to used dried beans you have cooked yourself that is absolutely fine.)
2 - 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
1 - 14 ounce can of niblet or whole kernel corn
Heat the oil on the stovetop in a large oven safe casserole with a lid. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat. Grate in the garlic. Continue to sauté until the onion begins to go translucent.
Put the chilli powder, salt and pepper in a food safe paper or plastic bag. Quickly toss the chunks of beef in this mixture.
Tumble the beef into the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes to brown the meat, stirring frequently.
Add the tomatoes, red pepper, kidney beans and corn.
Place the casserole in the oven and cook for an hour and a half to two hours, stirring every half hour or so. Serve with toast, rice or tortilla chips as you wish!