Pulled beef and black bean chilli

This is a versatile dish that’s guaranteed to please the whole family.

I like to cook it in the slow cooker but it works just as well in a pan on the stove, you simply need to allow plenty for the meat to tenderise so that it melts in the mouth.

I make the chilli with either black beans or red kidney beans which are a great source of fibre and an excellent source of the trace mineral molybenum, which helps the body detoxify sulfites. They’re also an excellent source of folate which is essential for pregnant women, particularly in the first trimester. However, if you’re paleo you can omit the beans as the dish does work without them.


  • 600g or approx 1.3 lb chuck steak or slow cooking casserole beef diced into chunks around 5cm or 2 inch square
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red capsicum/red bell pepper
  • 1 medium to large brown onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic or 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 cups (half a litre or 1 pint beef stock or bone broth)
  • 1 x 400g tin or 12 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g tin or 12 oz can black beans/red kidney beans OR 250g or 9 oz cooked black beans/red kidney beans
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground paprika


Note, I soak and cook all pulses and legumes myself in order to make them more digestible. Refer to the Dr Weston Price foundation for more information on the benefit of this process. Instructions are at the end of this recipe. If you don’t have time simply used tinned/canned beans.

  1. Bring a frying pan to a medium-high heat and add a little olive oil then cook the beef for a couple of minutes on each side until nicely browned (it’s likely you’ll need to do this in 2 batches so as not to overcrowd the pan). Transfer the meat to the slow cooker/crockpot or set aside
  2. Again, bring a frying pan to a medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil then cook the onion, garlic and capsicum/bell pepper until the onion is just starting to brown and the vegetables are soft
  3. Add the stock, crushed tomatoes, cumin, coriander and paprika and allow to simmer for a minute then transfer to the slow cooker along with the meat and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Alternatively, transfer the meat back to the pan and simmer for ~3 hours until the meat is tender and falling apart. If cooking in a pan, you may need to add some extra water during the process if the chilli starts to dry out
  4. If using a slow cooker, once complete transfer the chili back to the frying pan and add the beans then cook for 10 minutes or so until it’s reduced to the consistency you like. If cooking on the pan, once the meat is nice and tender, pull it apart using a knife and fork then add the beans and cook for a further 10 minute.

Serve with some thick natural yoghurt (or sour cream if you’re more of a traditionalist) and plenty of fresh coriander either on a bed of brown rice or with some warm soft tacos.

Serves ~ 4 people.

Preparing and cooking red kidney/black beans

For both red kidney and black beans, soak for 12 hours in plenty of filtered water with a little acid medium (a generous tablespoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar work well). Once the process is complete rinse well.

To cook, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and allow to boil for 10 minutes then simmer for around half an hour for black beans or one hour for red kidney beans. Test to ensure they’re cooked and if necessary, allow to simmer for a little longer.

If you prepare a large batch you can freeze portions for later use.

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