Sometimes cooking should be quick, easy and fun – whack some lovely ingredients in a pan and twenty minutes later, sit down and enjoy something delicious. I am a big fan of that kind of cooking.
Sometimes, cooking should be s-l-o-w and languid. It should be putting something in a pan, stirring or leaving it to simmer for hours and removing something magical. The waiting is part of what makes it special, the inhaling as smell fills your kitchen and seeps under doorways and through crevices until your whole house smells warm and delicious. Delayed gratification is a powerful thing, and this recipe makes full use of it.
This is take-your-time chilli. Make it on a weekend, have enough to eat for the rest of the week. And enjoy it. Just don’t try it before it’s ready. Waiting is half of the fun.
To make eight portions, you will need:
- 2 large red onions, cut into wedges
- 800g braising steak, cut into chunky strips
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- A healthy glug of balsamic vinegar
- One vegetable stock cube
- One bay leaf
- One red, one green and one yellow peppers, cut into strips
- Two large handfuls of mushrooms, sliced
- A red chilli, deseeded and diced
- Two cans of kidney beans
- Two 400g cans of tomatoes
- Basmati rice and fresh coriander, to serve
- Add the onion, braising steak, spices and balsamic vinegar to a large pan. Stir until the meat is covered and sticky. Cover with just-boiled water, sprinkle in the vegetable stock cube and add the bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then cover. Lower to a simmer and let bubble away for 1.5 hours, checking every 30 minutes and topping up with water if necessary. Remove the bay leaf
- Drizzle a little oil into a large, deep pan. Fry the mushrooms and the peppers until soft. Throw in the diced chilli and cook for two minutes more
- Tip all of the cans into the pan. Remove the beef and onion from the saucepan with a slotted spoon, blot on kitchen towel and add to the rest of the ingredients. Add a little water and bring to the boil. Simmer until reduced to your ideal thickness – around 10-20 minutes
- Serve with rice and coriander