The Beaut patch

We have recently got back from a few days lazing at our bach named after the Isle of Beaut, Scotland (my husband ancestors hail from there). It is inland 170km from Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand, well basically let me tell you it is in the middle of nowhere. Surrounded by high mountain ranges (winter ski field is ten minutes up the road), a river, sheep, Llamas, cattle, willow and native trees, it is a restoring backwater.

With no power and bathing choices being; tank water, an outside fire bath or a bucket of river water it is perfect for exploring my off grid side. Admittingly I don’t rough it entirely as well as I like to imagine, usually I am hankering for makeup, a fresh blow dry and high heels after three or four days.  It all makes up for it to see LB running barefoot with honey bees and enjoying nature, eating popcorn and hanging out with her friend from Nelson Luca.

Food however makes the whole experience much more pleasurable. Reading, cooking, eating, drinking, sleeping…..then repeat is generally the daily rhythm of the Beaut Patch breaks. We are lucky to have a tiny gas fridge and a gas cooker.

I try to plan meals that are simple enough to make in my Bach kitchen but never plain.

Our first night I cooked a spicy beef and red kidney bean chilli con carne and filled a soft burritos.


Beaut patch Burritos


  • 4 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • Small Green pepper chopped
  • One onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 250 grams beef mince
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (to taste)
  • Tomato paste
  • 400 grams tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400 grams chilli red kidney beans (rinsed if in brine)
  • Two cups of water while it simmers over the fire
  • 6 Soft burritos
  • Iceberg lettuce sliced
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Optional spring onions, advocado

To make

  1.  Chop onion and green bell pepper, chop carrot finely, finely chop the garlic.
  2.  Heat olive oil over medium heat and add the carrot and onions, cook until softened, this may take 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and beef mince, fry until browned. Add the cumin and chilli flakes, season a little with salt as you go.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook off for a minute. Add the tin of kidney beans  and the tomatoes, add a cup of water. Bring to the boil, lower heat to a simmer. Leave to cook for 30-50 minutes. The flavours will mingle and develop. Add more water if it gets to dry.
  4.   Serve with burritos, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and cheese.

Sometime you need to go far away to appreciate simple honest food. I tastes so much better cooked over the fire, or maybe it fills me with thanks to be eating anything at all so far away from civilisation.



Filed under cooking, food, meat, photography, recipes, travel

4 responses to “The Beaut patch

  1. 😀 Gotta love New Zealand!

  2. Jill fasick

    You are an amazing cook.. you can make a feast out of nothing…. looks so delicious

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