Chipotle Chilli Taco

  • Time: 1 hour plus soaking and cooking time for dried beans if using
  • Serves: 4
  • Level: easy

I devised this chilli as a vegetarian/vegan taco filling. The only difference to other chillies is that it does not contain meat as for carne con chilli, and it is probably a bit drier and stiffer than a chilli you might spoon over rice. I used a whole 500g bag of dried pinto beans for a BBQ with many other tacos on offer. Consequently, I had quite a lot of leftovers. However, what I found is that the chilli is very adaptable – it was delicious mashed and served as refried beans, loosened as a normal chilli (or for Mexican beans as a side dish) but especially as the basis of a bean soup with the addition of fresh tomatoes, stock and pasta and served with a few accompaniments…

A very adaptable vegetarian/vegan taco filling

What you need

Corn tortillas

For dried beans

250g dried pinto beans

1 large red onion, two whole garlic cloves, peeled, 2 bay leaves

For tinned beans

2 x 400g tins of pinto beans in water

Water, chicken or vegetable stock

For the chilli

1 red onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 400g tin of pulped tomatoes

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tbs dried oregano

2 bay leaves

2 chipotles en adobo

Optional taco accompaniments – amounts to suit

Chopped lettuce

Chopped tomatoes – or pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, onion, chilli, coriander)

Sliced avocado

Grated or crumbled cheese (mild cheddar, Wensleydale, hard mozzarella, feta)

Crema – Greek yoghurt, sour cream, or crème fraiche or a mix, with a little lime juice and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Chopped red or green chillies

Chopped coriander

Limes

Chilli sauces of choice…



How Dad Cooked It

  1. For the dried beans, soak overnight, put in a large saucepan, bring to a boil, and continue boiling for 5 minutes. Then drain and cover again with water (boiled from the kettle if you like) bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Trim the top of the onion, and trim off the roots leaving the base intact, peel and cut in half through the root, add to the beans along with the garlic cloves and bay leaves. Cover the pan and continue to cook on a low simmer. Cook until the beans are tender but still have a little bite. Turn off the heat and leave in their cooking liquid.
  2. In a large heavy based pan, sweat the onion and garlic in a good glug of light olive oil or vegetable oil for about 10 minutes until soft. Add the cumin, oregano and bay leaves and stir for a minute, then add the chipotles en adobo and stir for another minute, then add the tomatoes, turn the heat up to bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Finally add the beans. If using the dried beans, strain off the cooking liquid and add the beans. Then add some of the liquid to loosen the sauce.  If using bean from a tin add the whole contents to the sauce. Add water or stock if it is looking to dry. Bring back to a simmer and let the chilli cook gently for 20 minutes until the mixture quite stiff (it will get stiffer on resting).
  3. Put chilli into a serving dish.
  4. Warm the tortillas (in the oven wrapped in tin foil, in the microwave in a plastic tortilla warmer or zip bag, or individually on a hot dry frying pan). Serve, along with laid out accompaniments for everybody to make their own tacos.
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