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  • Annemarie Bolduc

Magic Chili

Updated: May 15, 2022

Feel not guilt-free with this nourishing and comforting runner beans chili recipe!

Magic homemade chili with runner beans • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021

If a chili con carne is good for the metabolism, this is the one you need. Made with ground beef and big runner beans that I like to call magic beans, you will be filled up with energy and won't feel hungry for a while after a bowl! Legumes ­are full of protein and any bean variety can be used for this recipe if you don't have the runner ones. I started to grow them a few years ago as they are different to any commercial beans and they make a beautiful ornamental climbing plant in the summer veggie garden. When they are maturing and drying in autumn, you can collect the seeds and save them in a jar for cooking during the cool seasons. Don’t forget to save some for sowing the spring after! I wanted to develop my own runner bean chili without any cultural attribute so I tried something different to the usual Tex-Mex nacho or tortilla side. So I created this very simple chili dish and served it with some firm polenta flavoured with parmesan cheese. Top with sour cream and chopped green onions if you like and enjoy!

Homegrown runner beans saved for chilis • Photography © Bottle and Brush Studio 2021



1 cup dried runner beans (or other bean variety) soaked overnight in cold water

500 g of lean beef mince

2 spring onions, finely chopped (white and green parts separated)

1 garlic clove

1 red capsicum, chopped finely

500 g passata (standard bottles are 700g, keep the rest for another dish)

1 tsp (or 2) harissa paste (or chili peppers to taste)

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

PREPARATION: Rinse the soaked beans, simmer in water for about 30 minutes, drain and set aside.

In a medium-large saucepan, brown the beef in oil, season to taste.

Add garlic, spring onions (white parts) and capsicum.

Stir for a few minutes and add the softened magic beans.

Pour in the sauce, harissa paste, mix well and cover.

Simmer on gentle heat for about 30 minutes.

Serve with a scoop of sour cream and sprinkle some chopped spring onion (green parts).

Bowl suggestion: with firm polenta on the side


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