Back to School: Chilli

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

For a student food blogger, I haven't been doing a lot of student food. What a phony, right? I haven't shared too many recipes with you guys over the summer but now I'm back at uni and finding myself back in the yellow dot section in Tesco I'm all over the food blogging. I'm all over sharing some awesome, thrifty recipes with you.
I want to start a Back to School series, which equips student cooks like myself (and the rest of you lovely readers) with a basic set of staple, yet delicious recipes. Stock your spice cupboard with some good spices and you'll be rolling.  
First stop, chilli. I know chilli won't be winning any beauty contests but it is tasty and filling and the perfect student food. In my first year of university, mince was my best friend. We spent a lot of nights together and I ended up getting creative, perfecting different mince recipes and trying out new ones. This chilli is rich with flavour whilst using simple and cheap ingredients. The addition of the kidney beans bulks up this recipe so it can serve 6 generously and if desired, you could even add another 200g of beans. I know, I know, real chilli doesn't have beans in, but for the purpose of this hearty recipe, Sheldon can stick it.

Let's cook, shall we?

Adapted from The Hairy Dieters.

For a hearty batch of rich Chilli you will need: 

500g minced beef
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp plain flour
350ml beef stock, made with 2 beef stock cubes
400g tin chopped tomatoes
400g tin kidney beans
3 good splodges of tomato puree
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

This recipe may look a little long, but the ingredients listed are store cupboard staples and will make cooking on a budget so much tastier.

Start by chopping up the onions and cooking them with the mince until brown.

Add in the chilli powder along with your garlic, finely chopped. 

Throw the cumin, coriander and flour into the mix. Cook together for about two minutes. 

Pour in your beef stock gradually and stir through. 

Tomatoes and drained kidney beans are essential - chuck em in. 

And the tomato puree.

The bay leaf and dried thyme finish off the mix and you're good to simmer. Go for 45 minutes on a low heat until the liquid has reduced a little.
Quick pointer on the thyme - I tend to substitute in similar dried herbs like oregano or herbs de provence. Don't go out and buy every single herb, try to use what you have and taste as you go. 

Remember we're simmering!

I like to leave my chilli in the fridge over night before eating it as I think it deepens the flavour, but this isn't essential, you can spoon this stuff right out of the pan. Serve with rice, tortillas, jacket potatoes or any other carb that floats your boat. I like a dollop of natural yoghurt from the fridge and a sprinkling of paprika from the back of my cupboard on mine too.

A veritable volcano of paprika and chilli goodness!
Freeze the rest of your batch and eat like a king for another five nights. Or share it - but make sure you do the same with the recipe, cause this one is a keeper.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Caroline! Wins me over every single time xx

  2. I love chili!! It's so versatile and you can always freeze a big batch for other meals. a perfect staple for a studnent.

    Teffy { Teffys Perks Blog }


    1. One of my absolute faves! Don't think that's going to change when I graduate either. xx

  3. A back to school series is a great idea! You have wonderful step-by-step photos btw.

    1. Thanks, Todd! Just popped over to HonestlyYUM and I love it. Great photos! x

  4. My goodness... This looks so simple yet delicious! Definitely bookmarking this recipe :) thank you.

    Sam xx

    1. It's one of my favourites! You're definitely welcome, Sam :) xx


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