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Recipe for January by Ness

I chose this recipe from Rachel Patterson's ‘Practically Pagan – an alternative guide to cooking’ as not only does it sound -and is - delicious but chilli speaks to me of something that you would use for intent. It has the connections to fire, passion, heat and energy – all the things you need to get those intentions going...

Our Household Chilli


750g/1 ½ lbs beef mince

1 large onion, diced

3 bell peppers, diced – any colour

2 large carrots – diced

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 tin (435g) refried beans

2 beef stock cubes

400ml/14 fl.oz water

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 heaped tablespoon cocoa powder

2 tablespoons plain (all purpose) flour

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1 tablespoon cumin seeds

Salt and Pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

Brown the mince in a large pan (no need for any oil). Add in the diced onions, garlic, peppers and carrots. Pop the basil, oregano, chilli powder and cumin seeds in too. Simmer for five minutes. Then stir in the tin of refried beans, the cocoa powder, the stick cubes and the flour. Pour in the water. Stir the whole lot together and season with salt and pepper. If it looks a bit dry, add a dash more water. Remember it will thicken up as it cooks.

Put a lid on the pan and pop it in the oven. It will be ready in about an hour but if you have the time, leave it for two hours as it gets better.

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