One thing I love about this recipe, is the fact that most of my ingredients were leftovers sitting in the refrigerator in such quantities that one would struggle to bring together a meal out of each.
I had with me 250g of beef, some black beans I had leftover from a previous recipe, and thus settled for a stew made from the two, to be served alongside some leftover rice from a previous recipe as well.
I have nothing against black beans, I do love their earthy notes and textures, adding to that, they are also quite good at soaking up different flavours, this of course makes them fantastic in burgers, wraps and curries.
The leftover beef was from my SPAGHETTI & MINCE recipe from earlier on or something else, I couldn’t clearly remember, I was hungry and all that mattered at that particular point was good food in my belly.
I was from a gym session and all I had in mind was food, and not just food, but good nutritious food.
Ground beef alongside black beans sounded like the ideal post workout meal combo. Who needs a shake when you can have real whole food protein and not the processed stuff.
Of course I needed some veggies in there, you know, something else apart from the norm of, tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic and coriander which almost never miss out in most of my cooking.
I always chop up my coriander stems and proceed to fry them alongside my onions. This way you get more flavour into the stew as it will release its fragrance and oils as its slowly frying.
This goes a long way in flavouring the final stew, it’s s a hack thats proven and tested, so the next time you are thinking about discarding of those woody stems, think twice.
Save the leafy green fore garnish later once the stew is ready.
This was meant to be quick, short and sharp recipe, that entails having everything cooked in a short amount of time.
Chopping up your veggies into small sizeable chunks enables for quick fast cooking and is key when you want to bring together a quick stew mean, its this that made me come up with this idea of grating the carrots beforehand.
This way, they get to cook quicker, releasing its sweetness and flavours in such a short period of time.
I did the same with my bell peppers.
As you can clearly see, I had an array of different coloured bell peppers and this is just from the fact that they were all leftovers and after clearing my refrigerator of all the bell peppers and dicing them down, I managed to collect just over a cup of chopped up bell peppers. Not a bad day of foraging in my refrigerator!
I did the same with my tomatoes and for some reason I didn’t get any photos of them, happens sometimes when I am so immersed into the cooking bit that I forgot I am cooking for a shoot. I actually didn’t have that much going on in terms of tomatoes, I had with me two tomatoes that were past their prime sitting in the refrigerator for over a week.
Tomatoes lose their taste, sweetness and most of its flavours if stored in the refrigerator for long periods of time.
To counter this, I went for some tomato paste, just to complement the tired looking tomatoes I had with me.
The world of spices is vast and amazing, knowing how and when to use them will transform your cooking experience, opening up your eyes to the versatile and dynamic world that are spices.
I settled form, paprika, chilli powder, cumin and coriander.
I prefer cooking my spices as I am frying my onions to avoid that taste of raw spices I dislike in my food. However, mistakes do happen and after my onions, garlic and coriander stems has wilted down and become fragrant, I went in with the carrots and the peppers as opposed to the spices.
I quickly realised that and threw in all my dry spices alongside my tomato paste and kept frying until everything was coated in all the spicy goodness, once the tomato paste is cooked and the spices have released their oils and are fragrant, it time to go in with your tomatoes.
Before anything, always start by browning your beef first. Its literally the only time you get to impact flavour and colour into the beef.
skip out on this key step and you will end top with a watery stew, that lack in depth of flavour, and is never too pleasing to the mouth.
All it actually takes is just a couple of minutes, season the beef with Salt and pepper, once the beef has browned, take is off the the heat, add in the oil and proceed as usual to fry your onions, garlic and coriander stems.,
This is such a short and simple process that made my beans and minced meat stew what it is, and its really the foundation of any stew that might involve the use of ground beef
Once the spices have cooked down and the carrots alongside the sweet peppers have wilted, go in with the tomatoes, cover and let this cook down completely before proceeding.
you want all the tomatoes completely broken and cooked down before throwing in the minced meat.
Fry in the beef coating its with all the spicy goodness from the cooking veggies and the spices.
the beans go in last.
Keep frying until the beans are coated in the spice mixture. At this point you can go in with water, however, I had some chicken stock on me and thats what I went with.
stock is the foundation of most soups and stews and gave my stew unmatched depth in flavour and savouriness.
Bring this to a boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes and there you have it, healthy delicious, easy to prepare stew.
- 2 cups pre boiled black beans
- 200g ground beef
- 2 cups stock/water
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 11/2 cups bell peppers
- 2 cups carrots
- 1/2 cup onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- salt & pepper to taste
- Finely dice the onions, bell peppers, mince the garlic, grate the carrots and chop up the coriander stems saving the leaves for garnishing later.
- On a dry pan, fry the minced beef until golden brown and no longer clamping up together.
- Transfer the browned beef to a separate bowl.
- In the same pan, add in the oil alongside the onions, garlic and coriander stems,. Fry this until translucent and fragrant.
- Fry in the grated carrots, alongside the bell peppers until they have wilted, releasing most of their liquids and start frying from the oil in the pan.
- Mix in all your dried spices alongside the tomato paste, keep stirring the veggie and sauce mixture around until the spices have released their oils and are fragrant.
- Fry in the tomatoes and if the spices are sticking to the bottom of the pan, deglaze it with a few teaspoons of water, cover the pan and let this cook down until all the tomatoes have completely broken down, your kitchen should be smelling all sorts of delicious at this point. Don’t rush it here as this stage is the real factory flavour in this dish. Be patient, around 7-10 minutes.
- Add in the ground beef coating it with all the spicy goodness from the cooked down tomato sauce. Once the beef as been frying for about 5 minutes, in goes the beans and continue frying for another 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the stock or water until it just covers the beans and ground beef, season with salt and pepper, Bring it to a quick boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot over rice or a side of choice.