The weather is filthy, cold, wet, dark, dreary, dismal.
Thus, today - well, I have been deferring or putting it off for a few days - seemed a good idea to try to prepare a warming dish of chilli.
Sautéed diced stewing beef (organic, etc, but defrosted - originally, I had thought I was defrosting actual steak, not stewing steak, tant pis, never mind) until brown; that meant browning in batches, and not crowding the pan.
Anyway, the browned steak was returned to the pan, where it was seasoned with sea salt, black pepper, brown sugar, ground cumin, ground coriander, and generous quantities of chilli - pimentón - (dulce) sweet, smoked, Spanish chilli, and its hotter cousin, picante; this was returned - with the pan juices - to the copper casserole dish, along with stock, tomao puree, and a tin of Italian San Marzano tomatoes.
This lot then went into a preheated oven, at a low enough temperature for two and a half hours.
At that stage, I checked the liquid, and added a mug of strong black (Ethiopian, because I have nothing else, but would have used central American coffee if I had it to hand,) coffee, with a spoon of brown sugar.
The casserole was returned to the oven for a further hour, while, on the stove top, on a low heat, eight small onions (I would have used three or four large onions, if I had them, but, pre-Christmas shortages - for reasons well known to all, but connected with severed transport links due to both Covid and Brexit in the weeks immediately preceding Christmas - of standard sized organic onions meant my purchases in the farmers' market before Christmas were confined to small onions)- roughly chopped - onions were gently sautéed; when they were soft, a minced head of garlic (nine fat cloves) was added to the copper sauté pan.
These - the softened and sautéed onions and garlic - were then added to the chilli casserole where they will cheerfully cook for a further hour, at a low heat, at which point I shall add the kidney beans, and return the casserole to the oven for a further - and final - twenty minutes to half an hour.
There will be more than enough for seconds tomorrow, which I shall probably serve with rice.