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 ?