Chilli beef with capsicum, coriander and avocado

Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow
Murdoch Recipe Article Lead - narrow 

A one-pot stew with central american flavours. The mushrooms enhance its meaty flavour and texture, and the chocolate adds richness. Add extra chilli if you like a little heat.


275 g (9 3/4 oz) red kidney beans

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

2 fat garlic cloves, crushed

4 medium-hot green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped

110 g (4 oz) dark-gilled field mushrooms, chopped small

800 g (1 lb 12 oz) chuck steak, cubed

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon caster (superfine) sugar

2 bay leaves

2 × 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes

200 ml (7 fl oz) beef stock

1 medium-sized red capsicum (pepper), diced

6 tablespoons fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves

25 g (1 oz) dark, bitter chocolate (Mexicanif possible), grated

1 medium firm, ripe avocado

1/2 red onion, chopped

250 g (9 oz) sour cream


1. Put the kidney beans in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak overnight, then drain and rinse. heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently for 10 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add the garlic, chillies and mushrooms and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring now and then. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion mixture to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan and, when very hot, brown the beef in batches.

2. Return the onion mixture to the pan to join the beef and add the cumin, cinnamon, sugar, bay leaves, tomatoes, stock and beans. stir together and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add the capsicum and simmer for a further 30 minutes.

3. stir in 4 tablespoons of coriander and all of the chocolate. season to taste with salt and extra fresh chilli if desired.

4. Chop the avocado and mix with the red onion and remaining coriander leaves. top each serving with a spoonful of sour cream and a spoonful of the avocado mixture.