Lamb, Beer & Black Bean Chilli

I often put chilies in the freezer as it seems to make them fairly mild and then I don’t bother to de-seed them and they’re never too hot. They’re also very easy to slice when frozen.


  • good glug olive oil
  • 750 g shoulder of lamb (cubed into big bite sized chunks)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled and sliced)
  • 2 green chilies
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 x 400 g tin tomatoes
  • 1 x 300 ml bottle lager
  • 1 tblsp tomato puree
  • 1 tblsp soft brown sugar
  • 3 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tins black beans
  • big bunch coriander


  1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan and fry the lamb over a high heat so that it browns all over.
  2. Season really well, keep the heat up high and when you have a good colour, remove from the heat, spoon the lamb onto a plate and don’t wash out the pan.
  3. Fry the onions in the same pan until soft and season well.
  4. Add the garlic, chilies and cumin. Then add the lamb back to the pan and mix well so that everything gets really well coated in all the tasty stuff.
  5. When it starts to smell good, add in the tomatoes, beer, puree, sugar and oregano. Bring up to a simmer, put a lid on and then put this on a very gentle heat and cook for 90 minutes.
  6. At that stage, add the beans and cook for another 30 minutes. I did the first part with a lid on and gave it a gentle stir every now and then and left the lid off for the second tranche of cooking, so that it could reduce down.
  7. Let it cool down a bit to relax and then taste. Like all stews, this tastes better if you can leave it to settle down for an hour or so (or overnight) and re-heat. Overnight snoozing and next day reheating works well when you want flavours to develop.
  8. Serve with rice or even on its own as the black beans stretch it out.


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