Vegetables and beans cooked long and slow in the oven take on a soft, almost buttery consistency and seem to absorb the flavours of the liquid around them much better than if cooked on the stove top. I had been thinking about making a chilli cooked as a casserole for a few weeks, and finally, one depressingly gloomy and wet Friday evening, I did. This recipe is very simple, and I served the casserole paired with fluffy quinoa. (Although I have seen versions which are topped with cornbread or tortilla chips, or even mixed with noodles, that look delicious). You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. Either way, the addition of cacao (use cocoa powder if you can't get cacao) gives the casserole a subtle richness of flavour, and the smoked paprika lends an interesting overtone.
800g diced vegetables (potato, sweet potato, bell peppers, celery, white cabbage, sweetcorn, courgette etc.)
550g cooked beans- I used red kidney beans but you could also use pinto beans, black eyed beans or a combination
7 fresh plum tomatoes, chopped
1 tab sweet smoked paprika
1 heaped tab tomato puree
minced fresh chilli- as much or as little as you like
1/2 tsp compound hing
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps ground coriander
1 tab dried oregano
2 tsps cacao powder (or cocoa)
2 tsps seasalt
2 cups water (1 cup = 250ml)
- Prepare the veggies and put them and the beans in a large deep roasting dish or casserole.
- Mix the stock ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
- Pour the liquid over the veg and beans, cover (use foil if you haven't got a lid for your dish) and cook in an oven preheated to 200C for at least an hour, until really tender.
- Serve with bread, rice or quinoa.