Hugh's Pinto Bean Chilli

I really enjoyed the last season of River Cottage, which was completely dedicated to Veggie dishes, so I was thrilled to receive the accompanied book {River Cottage Veg everyday!} from one of my little men for Christmas. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's books are always packed with recipes that are fairly straight forward but so delicious and this book is no different. I'm sure producing a book completely dedicated to vegetable dishes wasn't an easy task, but Hugh has done this and excelled himself. With a lot of creativity and imagination he has created dishes that any dedicated meat eater would thoroughly enjoy.

 In the past couple of months I've tried quite a few of the recipes and this is one of my favourites. Often times I stumble upon a recipe that I enjoy so much, that once I've made it a couple of times, I start to include it as one of our regular dinners. This is one of those recipes, as it consists of ingredients that I will always have in my press. Grant it, the list of ingredients may be long but I'm sure you may already have most of them. Feel free to put whatever you please into the chilli, adding more or less spice, according to what you like. The pinto beans can be replaced with mixed beans or chickpeas while the courgettes and peppers can be swapped for mushrooms and squash. The chilli keeps perfectly in the fridge for 2-3 days and also freezes really nicely. The way I like to serve this is in a big bowl, in the middle of the table, with lots of smaller bowls consisting of  basmati rice, guacamole or just sliced avocado, sour cream. grated cheddar and some lettuce. I then let everybody help themselves which makes it a very handy dish for entertaining. Tortillas or flat-breads also work fabulously with a chilli. The flat-bread in the photo is one I made using Hugh's recipe (see page 176) which turned out quite nice.

Pinto Bean Chilli

2 tbsp olive oil
3 onions
2-3 green chillies, to taste, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
2 courgettes, cut in 1cm dice
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
2 tbsp tomato puree
400g tin plum tomatoes, roughly chopped and any stalky
ends and skin removed
400g tin of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
100ml red wine
A good handful of parsley, finely chopped
A good handful of coriander, finely chopped
A handful of fresh oregano or tsp of dried
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


1.Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the onions and sweat, stirring from time to time until very soft and just starting to take some colour.
2.Add the chillies, garlic, cumin, cayenne and allspice and stir for a minute.
3.Add the courgettes and red pepper and stir to coat in the spices. 
4.Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes with their juices, pinto beans, red wine, parsley, coriander and oregano. Pour over 200ml of water and add some salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the veg are all tender and everything is thick and saucy. If the veg starts to stick, add a little more water. 
5.Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more salt and/or pepper if you think it needs it.


paulaannryan said...

Looks delicious Nessa. Must get my paws on that book!

Nessa Robins said...

You'd love it Paula! It's very cheap on Amazon at the moment. You should treat yourself :)

Donna OShaughnessy said...

A wonderful looking plate as always Nessa. And the ingredients as you say are long listed but I had them all in my kitchen as well. Each month I have all my adult children and their families here for dinner. This will go over well. Thanks again!

Nessa Robins said...

That's brilliant, Donna! I'm sure they'll love it.

Clare said...

Oh that looks delicious! I am definitely going to make this soon! And the book sounds really good, I'll have to get a copy - I think Hugh is great!

Thanks Nessa!

Nessa Robins said...

Thanks Clare! It's a great book, with lots of unusual ideas. Definitely worth getting!

Aoife Mc said...

Wow, these look so amazing. Those photos are practically edible! Must pick up the book too.

Yogabird said...

How many does it serve, please? It looks lovely and I want to make it for 10 adults - would I multiply up ALL quantities even the chillis or would that just be silly? Did that once with lemon rind and a big mistake!

Nessa Robins said...

Yogabird - Sorry I missed your comment a couple of weeks ago. This would serve 4 but if multiplying I would go easy on the chilli, unless you like it very hot. I normally only add 1 red chilli to this dish, as otherwise it would be too hot for the kids. Add them as you would to any of your other chilli recipes. Hope you enjoy it!