Chilli with Borlotti Beans

This is a Wahaca (aka Thomasina Miers) recipe that works brilliantly if you have guests to dinner, or if you're after something with lots of leftovers... It is called 'Speedy Chilli', although do note that it actually takes three or four hours to cook... hence my re-naming it slightly (I didn't read the recipe properly the first time; needless to say we ate exceptionally late that night). Luckily, this chilli is definitely worth any wait... is absolutely delicious the day you cook it, and might be even better the next day. If you're trying to lower your cholesterol and get healthy, you shouldn't eat meat too often; but boy when you do, this is exactly the sort of great, fresh tasting meat dish you want.


  • 1kg Lean Beef Brisket
  • 3 Onions
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Allspice
  • 1 stick Cinnamon
  • 3 Bay Leaves
  • 2 chopped Red Chillis
  • 1 or 2 tsp Salt
  • 3 tbsp Cider or Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 Tins Tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar

This recipe fed 4 people at dinner, and 2 of us generously the next day for lunch too.  Recipe is from ‘Mexican Food Made Simple’ by Thomasina Miers although is missing Chorizo, as clearly this is off the menu for cholesterol-lowerers!

Chop the Onions and Garlic in preparation…

Also, quarter the piece of Beef Brisket…

Brown each of the pieces of meat in a large pan with a little Olive Oil.  When they are nice and brown on all sides, reserve on a plate, and fry the chopped Onions and Garlic

When the Onions are sweet and softened, add the Beef pieces back to the pan (along with any juices on the resting plate)

Add all the other ingredients to the pan (except the Beans)… so put in 2 tsp Cumin, 2 tsp Allspice, 1 stick Cinnamon, 3 Bay Leaves, 2 chopped Red Chillis, 1 or 2 tsp Salt, 3 tbsp Cider or Balsamic Vinegar, 2 Tins Tomatoes, 2 tbsp Ketchup, 2 tbsp Brown Sugar…

Stir and bring to the boil, before putting the in the oven at 150˚c for 2 or 3 hours

At this point – the Beef should be starting to get tender – but it is possible it will need longer.  You need to add the drained Borlotti Beans an hour or so before it is done – but this could be anything from 3 to 5 hours in total!  Turn the oven up a little if you’re struggling to see progress – but don’t open the oven too much, and do cook slowly because it will taste better…

When the Beef is falling apart, and looking really delicious – serve!  With fresh Tomatoes and Red Onions maybe, or some Flatbread?!  Long Grain Rice would also be good…

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