Mexican Beef and Beans

This is based on a recipe that I took out of a magazine many years ago, and I forgot to make a note of the publication or of the author, so I cannot thank the creator of it for his/her contribution to my little recipe horde. Sorry about that, creator, but it certainly was worthwhile. At first I thought it was simply a variation on the common-or-garden Tex-Mex standard Chilli Con Carne, perhaps with a bit more Mex than Tex. In fact it is very different, with a much deeper flavour thanks to the preliminary marination, and the inclusion of chocolate, which gives it a truly Mexican Mole depth and texture. I should not that the amount of chocolate is critical; it should be sufficient to produce that required depth, but you should not actually be able to taste it in the finished product.



500g beef mince.

1 tblsp raw sugar.

1 tblsp balsamic vinegar.

1 tsp paprika.

1 tsp cinnamon.

2 tsp cumin.

Chilli flakes to taste.

2 tsp beef stock powder.

Salt to taste.

3 tblsp plain flour.

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped.

4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped.

½ cup olive oil.

1 400g can chopped tomatoes.

1 400g can kidney beans in brine, undrained.

¼ cup tomato paste.

1 large red capsicum, seeded and chopped.

½ cup chopped coriander greens.

3 tblsp grated dark chocolate 70% cocoa.



Place the meat, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl and mash together until fully combined, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours. Mix the spices, stock powder, salt and flour together in a small bowl and set aside. Prepare the onion and garlic and set aside.



Heat the oil in a sauté pan over a hot flame and sauté the onion and garlic until the garlic starts to turn golden. Add the meat and continue to stir fry until browned all over. Add the spice mix and stir through to fully combine with the meat mixture then add the tomato, beans and tomato paste. Stir through to fully combine, bring to the boil, stirring until the sauce is thickened, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Stir through the chopped capsicum, coriander and chocolate, reserving a little of the capsicum and coriander for garnish. Cook for another 10 minutes, transfer the mixture to a serving bowl, and garnish with the reserved capsicum and coriander.


Serve with: Boiled rice and a crisp green salad.


Serves: 4.

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