Chilli for 50p

Not quite 50p ! I am assuming you have a number of cupboard ingredients such as vegetable oil, salt, pepper, a stock cube and the spices.  All the other ingredients added together will provide you with a huge pan of chilli which will serve 8-10 for around 50p per head.   This chilli is best cooked low and slow and even better made the day before then reheated – I think the flavours mature and the chilli is more wholesome. This chilli freezes very well – pack into plastic containers when cold.


Start by cooking the lentils. Place the washed and drained lentils in a small saucepan then pour over the 400ml hot stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook slowly with a lid on for 20 minutes. Set aside.


In a large casserole pan heat the oil then add the chopped onion and cook on a low heat until the onions are just starting to colour. Add the minced steak and break it up amongst the onions with a wooden spoon.  Add then the spices and stir amongst the meat and onions – cook for a further 5 minutes.  Add then the beans, tomatoes, tomato puree, salt and pepper and the wine if using (if not add a little water).  Pour in the lentils and stock and give everything a really good stir.


Place a lid on the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Pop then into a very low oven (100 degrees c conventional), bottom of the Aga or into a slow cooker and cook for 7 hours.

When you take the lid off the pan after the cooking time your chilli may not seem thick enough and if this is the case – Increase the oven temperature to 200 degrees c and cook the chilli for a further half an hour to an hour uncovered. Your chilli will thicken up beautifully.


Serve with rice and fresh coriander leaf, a chopped spring onion and fresh red chilli if desired.


TIP : This is an ideal plate of food for those out working. Preparation time is quick – I used to get it all in the pan in the evening then cook through the night,  leave to cool during the day -to be quickly reheated when I got home.  When I was really organised I would pop it into the slow cooker before I went off to work.  Either way there was a hot meal when I got home from work.

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