Spicy Beef, Beans and Rice

Serves: 4 4-6 Ready in: 35 minutes

This dish is one of a series I call a "super stretcher" recipe. Stretching as little as 250g minced beef to serve 6 people, this recipe may just save your bacon. While it's probably not the prettiest dish you’ve ever made it is really tasty, it’s easy and very cheap to make. Serve it with fresh or frozen vegetables.


  • 1 can of lentils drained or 1 cup dried lentils simmered in boiling salted water for 20 -30 minutes until soft, rinse and drain.
  • 250g - 350g beef mince
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 ½ cups long grain white rice
  • 3 ¼ cups hot water
  • 3 tsp beef stock powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Fresh parsley, chopped – a couple of handfuls if you have it

Hot sauce

  • 1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/3 cup ready made tomato sauce
  • 2 dtssp chutney or relish of some sort
  • 1 ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce


      Prepare the lentils if using dried ones.

      Brown the meat in a large frying pan with a drop of oil if needed, breaking up the lumps with a fork or masher till evenly browned and crumbly. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.   

      Combine the hot sauce ingredients and add 2/3 of the sauce to the pan. Stir in the rice, beef stock, hot water and salt and simmer, stirring occasionally until rice is tender and liquid absorbed.

      Stir in the lentils and taste, add the remaining hot sauce if you want more punchy flavour. When the lentils are well combined stir in the chopped parsley and serve.


      Lentils add protein, iron and fibre to a meal. They are very cheap to buy and easy to cook. Add them stews and casseroles when you haven’t much meat, they blend in and make the dish more nourishing and filling without affecting the taste. Lentils can be frozen when cooked so you have some on hand next time you need some.

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