#ArchiveDay: Blustery Saturday Chilli Beans.

Horton's chilly and leaf strewn this morning.
Horton is chilly and leaf strewn this morning.

In honour of #ArchiveDay here’s a recipe from my old food blog that is perfect for a blustery October Saturday. I’ve just got back from walking Nelly and my fingers are freezing (I forgot my gloves again…) and just looking at the empty pan warmed me up. Enjoy!


This my go-to dish for a winter’s evening. It’s smokey and spicy, and a big hit with the meat eaters too. In fact at my neighbour’s bonfire BBQ last year the aforementioned MEs had snaffled the chilli beans at top speed whilst the plate of ribs still overflowed – which was annoying…

I forgot to take a photo of the actual chilli beans, but here’s one of the empty pan


  • 2x 400g Can of pinto beans, or the home cooked equivalent.
  • Lg onions.
  • 3 Garlic.
  • 2x 400g Can of tinned tomatoes. Whizzed.
  • Dark chocolate. Either good quality cocoa powder (1tbspn) or a ¼ bar.
  • 1 tbspn Treacle.
  • 1 tbspn Chilli powder.
  • 2 tspn Smoked paprika.
  • ½ tspn Cumin.
  • 1 tsp Chipotle paste.
  • 1 tbspn Ketchup.
  • 2 Bay leaves.

Fry off onions until caramelised, then add the spices and cook gently for a minute. Add the garlic and whizzed tomatoes, cook down for 10 mins and then add the beans. If using cocoa powder mix with a little water and stir into the bean mixture. If using solid chocolate either grate or chop thinly. Loosen mix with a little stock made from marmite and soy sauce. Add bay leaves, then either simmer slowly or oven cook on a medium heat until reduced. Let mixture reduce and thicken for an hour, stirring occasionally. Add Chipotle and ketchup. Taste and season with soy or bouillon powder, if necessary.

This delicious pan full of spicy beans is only the beginning as there are many ways to glam it up. If serving with rice, wraps or sweet potato wedges, simply grate your favourite smoked cheese on top plus a generous blobbing of creme fraiche or soured cream, and allow to melt. I also like to scatter on a few chopped pickled chillies.

If serving up at the table in slightly more formal pose you can add a chilli cheese cornbread crust; it looks beautiful and complements the flavours perfectly. You can find the recipe here.


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