Kidney Bean Mélange


One word. Spices, vegetables, beans, and meat simmered    together to form a delicious sauce, and then served over rice. Somewhere in between a chili and a stew, lacking sufficient meat for either, and with insufficient paprika to be a proper goulash. How about mélange, hmm?

Given how quickly I threw this together and the current scarcity of ingredients in my kitchen, I am surprised this mélange turned out as well as it did. In terms of substitutions, tomato paste could be added with the spices instead of tomatoes at the end, sausage or cubed beef could easily replace the bacon, and you could probably use black beans instead of kidney beans, if necessary. With a better-stocked kitchen, I might have also tossed in some red wine with the broth to round out the flavour. I served it over couscous, but you could just as easily use bulgur, quinoa, or rice.

Kidney Bean Mélange

Makes 3 servings

6 strips bacon, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, diced

2 carrots, diced

1 large garlic clove, diced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 400g can kidney beans, drained

2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Cook the bacon in a large pot over medium-high heat. As the bacon begins to crisp up, lower the heat to medium and add the onion, stirring occasionally. Once the onion has softened, add the pepper and let cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the carrots, garlic, and spices and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the beans, broth, balsamic vinegar, and turn the heat up to high. Once the mixture has begun to boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and let simmer (this is also when I started cooking the rice).

Once the carrots are soft, uncover the pot, add the tomatoes, and continue to let simmer for 5-7 minutes, until the liquid has reduced to a sauce. Serve atop your choice of grain, and enjoy!

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