MM’s Cheap Eats: Kidney bean and chorizo chilli

By Mel Hughes


Half ring of chorizo

1 tin kidney beans

1 tsp chilli powder

Pinch dried chilli flakes

1 beef Oxo cube

Splash of red wine

Half an onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tsp tomato puree

1 carrot, peeled and chopped into small pieces

Handful fresh parsley (optional)

Salt and pepper

This is a great recipe for midweek and this is a great take on it if you want to cut down on red meat or simply don’t have much in the cupboards.

You can use as little or as much chorizo as necessary really; I find this amount is more than enough for two people as it is quite strong flavoured.

The easiest way to make this is to have everything chopped in preparation, maybe with the exception of the parsley since it’s not added until right at the end.

So, with everything chopped, heat a pan on a medium to high heat and add the chorizo. You don’t need to oil the pan as the oils from the chorizo will come out in the cooking and be enough to use.

Once the oil starts to ooze from the sausage add the onion and the garlic and cooking for three to four minutes until the onion is soft. Add the chilli powder, chilli flakes and carrot and cook for a further three minutes until everything is coated with the chorizo oil.

Crumble in the stock cube for added beefiness and give it a stir around then add the red wine and cook until the wine has reduced. It should start to look like a rich, beefy, salty concentrate, now add the tinned tomatoes and the tomato puree, stir and leave to bubble away for ten minutes.

After ten minutes add the kidney beans and allow to simmer for a further 15 minutes on a medium heat. Don’t be tempted to add them too soon because if you cool them for too long they just turn to mush. But they need to be cooked for five minutes at least but I give them longer just to make sure.

Taste the chilli and add whatever seasoning is needed. Some pepper and a bit of salt is likely but be sure to taste it first because the Oxo cube is quite salty so it may not be needed.

Throw in the parsley, add a splash of cold water, stir and serve with some rice or just salad and pitta bread.

The cold water: this is a peculiar Marco Pierre White thing. He always used to add a splash of cold water to his tomato sauces before serving, I’m not 100% sure why but I think that because the cool water allows the whole dish to reduce in temperature very slightly it makes the flavours come through more. You can taste things better when they’re slightly cooler. So you get the full flavours with the first taste, as opposed to a burnt tongue.

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