Jack Monroe really knows her onions kidney beans

This time I’ve .. borrowed from the UK’s national broadcaster, the BBC. Well, at least they spell “chilli” correctly !  [grin]

Jack Monroe is an extraordinary young woman, and has managed her sudden rise to culinary fame with simple aplomb. Also, she’s not a proselytiser about being vegan, and that causes my ancient heart to warm to her: veganism is so .. demanding. Perhaps I mean for an old fart ?

Anyway. I have just today discovered during seemingly endless browsing of pressure cookers, their pros and cons and the bewildering number of brands of the damned things, that I might be able to forget pressure cookers and simply use my microwave for fast cooking.

What ? — no, I didn’t ever think of it before. Why would I ?: that would completely ruin my spotless reputation for incomparable dickheadedness !

So I just tried the recipe below for my tea/dinner, even though I don’t have the dark chocolate in my pantry OR ANYWHERE ELSE IN THIS HOUSE ! she said before they could laugh scornfully. It works ! – it’s a really nice recipe !    :)

I believe I’ll get off my bum tomorrow morning and walk up to the bus that takes me to Woolies, wherein can be found many kinds of dark chocolate. And before you start again with the smartarse comments, I actually don’t like dark chocolate (but do have a weakness for white ..); so I shan’t be stuffing it into my cakehole in handfuls.

Oh: two important points !

  1. If you, like me, have a fairly ancient and not frightfully powerful microwave, double each cooking time mentioned, OK ? It’s still going to be under ten minutes’ cooking.
  2. Use a container much bigger than the end volume, to accommodate .. ah .. increase in size.



  • ½ small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove, chopped very fine
  • knob of butter
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes (or more, to taste)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes, drained (and juice reserved)
  • 400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ vegetable stock cube
  • 2 squares dark chocolate


  • Put the onion, garlic and butter in a microwaveable container, give it a quick stir, then heat in the microwave on High for 30-40 secs. Leave to stand for 1 min, then add the spices, sieved chopped tomatoes, beans, stock cube and 1 square of the chocolate.
  • Cover with cling film and pierce 3 times. Place some kitchen paper under the container and cook for 2 mins on High. Stir well and leave to stand for 1 min.
  • If your chilli starts to dry out, add some of the reserved tomato juice.
  • Add 2nd piece chocolate; cover and cook on Medium for a further 2 mins. Give it a good stir and allow to stand for 1 min before serving, topped with sour cream (or whatever floats your boat) on rice.

Recommended. But then, I wouldn’t post it if I hadn’t liked it, would I ?

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Have finally found home: in my ... ahh ... later years. With no family within coo-ee and no assets, I'm in a wonderful and totally independent unit within the auspices of a celebrated aged care organization. Idea is that I have two 'houses' I can move into were I to become cerebrally challenged: but it's my firm intention not to. :D P.S. I have no idea how I got to this number of years: I was young only last week ..

9 thoughts on “Jack Monroe really knows her onions kidney beans”

  1. Sounds absolutely delicious, though of course I can’t have it. I have not interest in a pressure cooker for two reasons – I don’t want more kitchen goods and appliances, but more, they terrify me. My mum had one and managed it fine, but I’ve never got over my fear of them for some reason. All that pent up steam, busting (yes, I know, it should be bursting) to get out!

    PS Perhaps instead of clingfilm you could get one of those microwave safe dishes with a lid that has a vent in it?? (Cheaper than a pressure cooker and very useful.) I still have clingfilm here but I am trying to cut it out of my kitchen practice (and trying to encourage Mr Gums to do so too!) There are silicone “lids” too, but they might seal too much for this recipe. I have a couple of those that I use in the microwave.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How come you didn’t read the last recipe ??? – it even mentions you !
    Yes, I totally agree about plastic in the kitchen ! (or anywhere, of course). Jack says this recipe should be made in a vessel much bigger than what you put in it, to prevent its running over; but it’s possible I could find those microwave-save thingies you mention in a large-ish size. Oh, you are a finger-wagging woman, you ! [grin]

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When you reference pressure cookers, have you investigated Instant Pots? I really use mine a lot. I have had a pressure cooker for years but only used it rarely because I found it intimidating. The instant pot craze has changed my life. LOL! I eat a lot of beans, and I can make a beautiful pot of dried beans with 45 minutes pressure and then maybe another 45 for the steam to naturally release. I don’t need to persuade anyone to have another appliance as I think we all get overwhelmed by kitchen clutter, but you might be interested. I do think most of us do underuse our microwaves, however. I mostly reheat food only, and that’s kind of a waste. You’ve got me thinking! :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have indeed investigated ’em, Debra. I’ve watched videos till the cows came home. But they’re fearfully expensive here, as they come from the good ol’ (lucky you). In fact, I still don’t know if they come adjusted for our power supply !
    I want a p.c. mostly for beans, too ! – very tired of putting out all those empty cans. As well, the chickpeas in cans are very like ball-bearings; and I’m sure I could make my own much better. We have a marvellous bulk foods store in the shopping centre that’s nearest to me (but needs a 20′ uphill walk and a bus); and if I could just organise my budget so as to get a p.c., cooking would definitely improve.
    If you can reach there, tell me if it has the same functions as the Instant Pot, please, my b.f. ?


  5. Hiya, Hannah ! I have reached the conclusion that the choice between updating my small and ancient microwave, buying a pressure cooker or buying a(nother) multi cooker is fast driving me batty (18 months or so back I bought a Tefal multi called ‘Cook4Me’, and became stultifiedly bored with it in roughly two months). Now I’m looking at a stovetop p.c.; but am somewhat leery of its narrow range of possibilities.. Sighh .. And ALL of them are hideously expensive – even the stove-toppers ! Mebbe I shan’t do anything at all. :\


  6. Another interesting recipe that alas the MotH wouldn’t eat. Too much gas from the beans I suppose. Grrr…. Keep posting! I am sure you will post one he likes soon enough.


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