6 December 2016

5.06 Slow-Cooked Beef & Beans - Meat & Poultry - Intermediate

This is the ultimate in versatility when it comes to Mexican food. You can use this meat in tacos, burritos, nachos, etc. or just eat it as is with some rice.

I know that most people probably can't be bothered waiting 4 hours for something (yep, 4 whole hours!) but I think it's totally worth it!

Other than the long waiting time, this recipe is fairly simple, so don't be deterred.

2kg meat on the bone (i.e. osso bucco or short ribs)
1 1/2 cups dried kidney beans
500ml vegetable stock, hot
400g tin Mutti Polpa
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 ancho chilli
2 pasilla chillies
2 dried jalapeno/chipotle chillies
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Oil (for frying)

Although I didn't specify in the ingredients, you're supposed to be using beef (it's the name of the dish,  after all). As mentioned, you can use osso bucco (like I did), or short ribs, or even oxtail if that's your thing.

If you can get your hands on dried pinto or borlotti beans, use them instead. Kidney beans are just easier to get. I chose to use dried beans for 2 reasons: 1) they will hold together better after simmering for 4 hours, and 2) they will absorb some of the liquid and help the sauce thicken. If you want to risk using tinned or fresh beans, I'd recommend to add them in for the final hour of cooking.

The stock should be hot but not boiling. I used vegetable stock, but if you want to use beef or chicken stock go right ahead.

Yep, I just recommended Mutti Polpa again... I'm not a shill, I just love the product (as I've said before). If you can't find it, any tinned chopped tomatoes will probably work fine.

The ancho, pasilla and chipotle chillies are negotiable. If you prefer a different mix or to just use 1 type, that's on you. Keep in mind this will probably change the flavour of the dish slightly.

I suppose you wouldn't really expect to see brown sugar or cocoa in a savoury dish, but cocoa (and chocolate) tend to be used this way in Mexican cuisine to add richness of flavour. The sugar is to mellow the bitter edge that comes as a result.


1. Pour the hot stock over the chillies and place aside to soak until soft. (This will take around 10-15 minutes.)

2. In a bowl, mix together the ground coriander, cumin and approx. 1/2 tbsp of salt until combined. Scatter this onto a plate and coat your meat in it.

3. Heat a generous slosh of oil in a large pot over medium high heat and sear the meat for a couple of minutes on each side, then remove from the pan.

4. Leave the pan on the heat, add in the onion with a large pinch of salt and fry until softened.

5. Add in the garlic and fry until browned.

6. Place the soaked chillies and stock into a blender and blitz until smooth, then add this puree to the pot and stir until mixed.

7. Add in the tomatoes, then fill the tin with hot water and pour this into the pot. Stir until combined.

8. Add in the cocoa and sugar along with another pinch of salt and stir until combined.

9. Mix in the beans.

10. Return the meat to the pot, then bring to a simmer and turn the heat right down to low, place on the lid and allow to simmer for approx. 4 hours.

11. Remove the meat from the pot and allow to cool slightly before shredding the meat back into the pan.

12. Stir the beef into the beans and serve.

Serves 6-8.

A video pf this recipe is available at https://youtu.be/z1HkkftzSKQ.

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