This is my quick and easy chilli recipe and, as it is cooked in the oven, you can more or less leave it and forget it! I will be making the recipe more or less from scratch, but using jars and tins instead will give you a great tasting chilli with almost no preparation time. As long as you buy good ingredients there should be no problems.
Contrary to many recipes that use minced meat, I use a veal leg chop, or ossobuco, for this recipe. The name of ossobuco comes from the Italian word bone and hole. The reason is clear as this cut of meat has a cross-section of the leg bone right in the middle. I prefer this cut because it is cheap, full of flavour and because you know what you are getting…….
For the more than 25 years I worked in a large multinational, work that involved frequent trips abroad. I visited more than 20 countries and scores of hotels and restaurants. I have had food from across the globe, eaten in small traditional local restaurants or larger ones with menu choices dedicated to the tourist and business travellers. I have had some very good meals and, perhaps luckily, not so many bad ones. More interestingly perhaps is that I have sat down to eat with an almost infinite number of work colleagues and clients.
As I write this article today my mind wanders back to a conversation I had during a meal, many, many years ago with a young lady from the team. The lady in question is still in the company and has gone on to great things, I wonder if she still remembers the conversation?
Basically the lady was averse to eating anything where she couldn’t see where the meat of fish came from. Basically she wanted to see a piece of meat or fish and was less inclined to eat things like meatballs or hamburgers where the meat has been minced up until it is no longer recognisable. Looking back now her comments were almost prophetic and I would suggest that time has proven her right.
Relatively recently in the UK there was the scandal of the use of horse meat in ready made meals that were labeled as made of beef. According to an article on the BBC website, 9 out of 10 families in the UK still buy ready meals, possible because they are quick and because they are cheap. Horse meat costs around a quarter of the price of beef, one doesn’t have to look far to see the motivation behind the wrongdoing. What happened is clearly wrong on so many levels.
Cheating food producers aside though, one could say that as long as the animal used was healthy, eating it is not going to adversely affect your health. So are these ready meals and the like even good for us, what about the never ending list of artificial ingredients and additives that are added to such products? A study published in the British Medical Journal found that “not one of 100 meals tested fully complied with World Health Organisation nutritional guidelines”. One would suggest therefore that they are not quite as good for us as the producers and retailers would have us believe!
The answer for me is to cook my own. There are lots of quick recipes out there and a myriad of kitchen gadgets to lighten the load….. and for me at least there are few better ways to relax than a little slow cooking over an old fashioned stove. A stress relieving cooking session then a good meal and a glass of wine….. I feel better, and healthier, already!
So if you want a full flavoured chilli that is quick and easy to make, ensuring you know exactly what you are eating, then this recipe is for you……. and of course the lady mentioned in the article.
200g Dried beans
450g Jar of cooked beans
1 Geen pepper
1 Red pepper
4 Garlic cloves
1½ jars Homemade tomato sauce
1tsp Ground cumin
1tsp Hot Chilli powder
Put the beans to soak overnight in plenty of water.
Drain off the water then pop into a saucepan. Just cover with water and simmer uncovered until done. I prefer to cook them uncovered adding cold water frequently as the water in the pan evaporates. This causes the water temperature to fluctuate and that I believe makes for a better cooked bean.
Alternatively open a tin of beans.
Meanwhile, put a little olive oil in a large frying pan and get it nice and hot. Season the meat well then quickly brown the meat on both sides. Reserve the meat for later.
Rough chop and then fry the vegetables in the same pan.
Once the vegetables are nice and soft, add in the spices and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add in the homemade tomato sauce then bring to the boil.
Alternatively open a tin of bought tomato sauce, something that would go well with a pasta dish for example.
Put half the sauce mixture into the bottom of a large oven dish. Place the meat on top then cover with the rest of the sauce. The meat should be just covered.
Put the lid on the oven dish and cook in the oven at around 150ºC for about 4 hours.
Have a look at the meat every hour or so. You will probably find that as the meat cooks the sinews will contract and pull the meat out of shape. This may cause some of the meat to pop out of the cooking liquid. If this happens just cut through the offending sinews to flatten the meat out again. Pop back in the oven and continue to cook.
It is better to leave it uncovered for the last hour or so to reduce the stock down a little making for a thicker sauce.
When the time is up the meat should be very tender. Remove the meat from the sauce. If the sauce is too thin then boil in a pan on the stove top.
Meanwhile flake the meat away from the bone and gristle.
Mix the meat back into the sauce.
Add in the beans.
Serve decorated with a little coriander.
This recipe is super quick to prepare as you can use beans from a tin and use a jar of tomato sauce, all the better if it is homemade.
Please note, the spice quantity gives what I call “wimp” level, please fee free to add in more if you like a spicier chilli!
My suggestions for this week are more hearty meals. You might wonder why we are not eating salads and light meals in the summer heat, well we are…… but in summer we tend to spend a lot of time in the bodega, it is underground and as such it is the coolest room in the house. It has an old fashioned wood fired stove perfect for stews and the like.
tsp – Teaspoon – 5ml
tbsp – Tablespoon – 15ml
Imperial to Metric Measurement:
1 oz – 28g
1 lb – 16 oz – 454g
1 gill – ¼ pint – 142ml
1 inch – 25mm
Common Flour Types:
Gluten: 8% to 10%
Type: ES 70W
All-Purpose Flour / Plain Flour
Gluten: 8% to 11%
Type: DE 550 / FR 55 / IT 0 / ES 200W
Bread Flour / Strong Flour / Hard Flour
Gluten: 12% to 14% protein (gluten)
Type: DE 812 / FR 80 / IT 1 / ES 400W
2017 Lincoln W. Betteridge