It's the end of National Baking Week, and I really wanted to do something this week and I've waited all the way till Saturday to try to do something I could blog about. But I really couldn't muster up the time and effort to do anything more fussy than throw-everything-in-a-pot-stews. The temperature's taken a huge dip and and when I'm not busy moaning about the weather, I'm busy with the crazy crazy pace at school this term. (To be honest I just am not much of a bloody baker anyway.)
I often do chillis/stews like this: some mince, topped up with beans, a can of tomatoes, some spices. It's simple, easy, filling, yummy, and better yet, yummier the next day. There are countless variations for this, this variation was one I made for my birthday before.
Masala Minced Beef and Kidney Beans Stew
serves 4-6 (especially if accompanied by rice)
400g minced beef (you can sub any meat you like, or omit for vegetarian version)
1 cup of soaked, cooked red kidney beans (you can sub any beans you have)
400g can of tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
1 cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
4 cardamom pods, smashed
2 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsbp chilli powder (to taste)
sea salt and black pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
1. Over medium high heat, add the whole spices to the hot coconut oil to toast for a few seconds.
2. Add diced onion, fry till golden translucent and fragrant.
3. Add the minced beef and all the ground spices, the chilli powder, salt and pepper. Stir fry till beef is browned and caramelised, about 5 minutes.
4. Add the canned tomatoes and cooked beans, bring to a boil, and let simmer for at least 15 minutes. It's best if you let everything in the stew get to know one another better, so if you aren't starving, leave the stewoff the heat for a couple of hours.
By the way, just to reiterate, leftovers are thicker and richer in flavour, so it's definitely worth it to make a big pot of warming chilli. This makes a wonderful hot and spicy antidote to the miserable weather and month ):
For anyone going through a similarly miserable period, but still keen on doing a belated, super easy something for National Baking Week (and Apple Day, 21 October), try Cinnamon Baked Apples, topped with crispy nuts, raisins and greek yogurt.