This summer, towards the end of my pregnancy with the littlest of my two sons I started to worry about what we would eat once he arrived and I had no time to cook. I started a campaign of cooking ‘for the freezer’ as is traditional at such a time. It’s a habit that has stuck and I love the convenience of doing a big batch of something and having a meal for now and a portion (or two!) to freeze for another time. It’s always cheering to have decent home cooked food after the kind of busy day where you haven’t had a chance to cook.
The recipe that follows freezes well and after making a big batch will feed us for a few meals. We almost always have a package of flour tortillas in the cupboard(they keep for ages) and half-fat creme fraiche stands in for sour cream and is an ingredient I use in lots of different dishes. You could make this with steak mince instead but it’s really good with beef strips. I buy them ready prepared at the supermarket but if you cant get them then any cheap steak cut into strips or small chunks would do. It doesn’t have to be amazing quality as it’s getting cooked for a decent amount of time. Everyone has their own chilli recipe I’m sure, I don’t know how authentic this is, but currently it’s mine.
1 large onion, chopped finely
450g beef steak strips
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
1 finely chopped red chilli
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato purée
2 medium peppers, diced
2 tins of beans – I used black beans and pinto beans but use whatever ones you prefer
In a big pot that has a lid, fry the onion in a little oil until it is soft and translucent.
Add the beef and brown.
Add the dried spices and the chopped chilli and give it a good mix about so the beef is coated in the flavourings.
Add the tin of tomatoes, the tomato purée and the peppers.
Bring to the boil then reduce to a low simmer.
Put the lid on and cook for an hour or so or until the beef is tender.
Add the drained, rinsed beans and cook for another ten to fifteen minutes.
We usually have ours burrito-style, in flour tortillas with grated mature cheddar and big dollops of half-fat creme fraiche.
Freeze any leftovers in meal-sized portions (the size of these would depend how many of you there are). We are two adults and a five year old and we usually get two further meals out of this amount. If you’re new to the whole cooking for the freezer game then this article on BBC Good Food has loads of helpful information.