(No beans, no. Beans come on the side.)
For one tumultuous, tempestuous year, the Crater School played host to the daughter of the US Consul. Who was from Texas, with all that that implies. Even the trouble she got into was bigger and louder and more dramatic than most regular Martian girls had ever thought to contrive.
Nevertheless she was beloved by all, staff and pupils alike — and of course she didn’t escape the school without leaving a few recipes with Mrs Bailey.
Accordingly, Mrs Bailey serves chilli quite often to her girls, and often too to her friends between terms. And no, she never thinks to put beans in it. Nor the bottle of stout that the Ambassador recommended; she’s more than happy with her own brew of ginger beer. She feels that the ginger bites back against the beef, which is all to the good in the long run.
A kilo of stewing beef, cut into chunks
Two onions, chopped
A whole head of garlic, half crushed, the other half peeled but left whole
Half a dozen whole hot fresh chillies, for those that like them
Two tablespoons ground chilli, as hot or otherwise as you like it
A heaped tablespoon each of coriander and cumin seeds, toasted and ground
One tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
A bottle of ginger beer, the spicier the better
A 400g tin of fire-roasted chopped tomatoes, or nearest offer
Half a tablet of Mexican chocolate
Three dried Mexican chillies, eg ancho, pasilla, guajillo
Heat a large pan or Dutch oven, add a splash of oil and sear the beef in batches until dark and crusty. If anything starts to burn on the bottom of the pan, deglaze with a splash of water, add that to the browned beef, and use fresh oil to continue.
Once all the beef is browned, fry the onion in the same pan for a few minutes. Add all the garlic and whole chillies, and sizzle briefly. Add the spices, and cook for a minute; then add the meat and any accumulated juices, the oregano and ginger beer. Add the tomatoes, then swill the tin out with water and add that too. Throw in the chocolate and the dried chillies, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for two hours or so, until the beef is entirely tender. Top up the liquid as necessary as you go. Serve with rice or tortillas, with whatever accompaniments you like.
For the beans that Mrs B is inclined to serve alongside, see here:
Mrs Bailey’s Black Bean Chilli
It’s surprisingly mild, and wholly vegetarian, and still delicious
And you can find more of Mrs Bailey’s recipes here: