This particular meal first came into my life when I was young and silly and rather shamefully purchasing food shopping wasn't at the top of my priority list.
Having not very much money and not very much food in the cupboards my housemates and I decided to throw together what we called an 'If its' meal (If it's there you can have it, if its not you can't) :D
We threw together the following ingredients and fell in love with the result:
-Minced Beef (approx 750g) - if using meat.
-Pasta (But have since eaten it quite satisfyingly with Baked jacket potatoes, Tagliatelle, Mashed potato and served in -wraps with salad)
-Tin of baked beans
-Sweet chilli sauce
-Peppers (Just a green one the first time but mixed peppers thereafter)
-Salt & Pepper
I have also made this recipe adding in lentils and other pulses which has worked nicely. I did this once without any meat and it was very enjoyable.
I have literally made this recipe hundreds of times as friends would always request this if they came for dinner as did my step-children. I have altered the ingredients and amounts to suit dietary requirements, budget and taste. There are countless variations.
Here's what I do:
Fry a little olive oil and add the crushed garlic (1 clove) add the minced beef and cook on a medium heat until its starting to brown, add the onions (This can be red or white), mushrooms and peppers all chopped.
Continue to fry on a medium heat for approximately 5 - 10 minutes. If you are adding a tin of pulses/beans at this point is the time, make sure they are drained before adding to the pan.
Sprinkle a handful of beef (or vegetable) gravy granules all over and stir.
Add the baked beans and any herbs or seasoning.
Pour in sweet chilli sauce to suit taste. I usually add around 4 tablespoons. I use a mild but I have made it with a hot sauce and it was nice to those who like spicy food.
Add a tiny splash of soy sauce.
Gradually mix in grated cheese until the mixture is at a desired thickness.
Serve immediately with your chosen accompaniment. My most recent Meat & Bean was served with a crispy outside, fluffy on the inside jacket potato.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this recipe and I would love to hear what anyone who tries it thinks, along with other alternatives / suggestions!