This chilli is adapted from a beef chilli recipe by Gordon Ramsay. I simply left out the beef and halved the wine to make it cheaper – plus, of course, Mr Ramsay doesn’t use a tin of cheap baked beans in his version! I’ve tweaked and fiddled with it so much over the years that now it’s not Gordon’s chilli, it’s mine. It first appeared in A Girl Called Jack, and has since been stripped back to this even simpler recipe, where it is handed out on recipe cards at Trussell Trust food banks – minus the red wine, because it isn’t strictly essential.
Serves 4 from 25p each
1 x 400g tin of red kidney beans, 30p (30p/400g, Smart Price at Asda)
1 x 400g tin of baked beans, 23p (23p/411g, Smart Price at Asda)
1 onion, 5p (80p/1.5kg, Farm Stores at Asda)
powdered chilli, to taste, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC brand)
a shake of paprika, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC brand)
a shake of ground cumin, <1p (80p/100g, Natco or KTC brand)
a splash of oil, 2p (97p/1l, Asda)
50ml red table wine, optional
1 x 400g carton or tin of chopped tomatoes, 29p (29p, Smart Price at Asda)
1 stock cube, 3p (39p for 12, Asda)
3 squares dark chocolate, 6p (30p/100g, Smart Price at Asda)
Tip both tins of beans into a colander and rinse thoroughly. If you are using baked beans in tomato sauce, make sure to rinse it all off. Pop the beans into a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then reduce to a gentle simmer.
Peel and dice the onion and put into a large sauté pan along with the chopped chilli, paprika and cumin. Add the oil and cook on a low heat until the onion softens into a spicy sweetness. Pour in the wine, add the chopped tomatoes and crumble in the stock cube, then simmer all together on a low heat.
When the beans have softened, drain and tip into the sauce. Add the chocolate and stir until the beans are mixed through and the chocolate is melted.
Tips: This chilli will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days if allowed to cool and stored in an airtight container. Delicious eaten cold stuffed in pitta breads or wraps for next day’s lunch.
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Photography by Susan Bell.