Recipe: Chilli Con Carne

A good ol’ Chilli Con Carne is so versatile and hearty. I sometimes make it the day before I’m eating so that the flavours develop further but you can make it the same day. You can comfortably stretch this recipe into two meals having it with rice one day and Tacos the next. It also freezes really well and makes a good working lunch.

(serves 4)


500g beef mince (try to get mince that’s 15% fat)
1/2 an onion, finely diced
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander stalks
1 fat garlic clove, crushed to a paste
4 slices streaky bacon, diced into lardons
1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 green finger chilli, finely sliced
1 large red chilli, finely sliced
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 400g tin kidney beans in chilli sauce
250ml beef stock
Salt and pepper
Groundnut oil for frying

for the chilli spice mix:
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp cold water

to serve:
Chopped coriander
Soured cream
Tortilla chips/boiled rice


Pre-heat the oven to 160c.

Measure the spices and add them to a small mixing bowl, add the water and then mix well to a smooth paste.

Heat an ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat and add a lug of oil along with the minced beef. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper and break it up in the pan using a wooden spoon. Fry the minced beef for 8 minutes or so until evenly browned all over then transfer to a sieve and set aside to drain any excess fat. Take half of the cooked minced beef and place into a food processor, pulse a few times until the mince resembles a coarse grain (be careful not to over blend you want a coarse grain not a paste). Return the pan to a low heat and add another lug of oil along with the bacon lardons, once lightly golden add the diced onion, coriander stalks and garlic. Gently fry for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and softened. Add the sliced chillies to the pan along with the tomato puree and the spice mix and fry for a further 3-4 minutes until the tomato puree is cooked out and the paste mix is bubbling and fragrant. At this stage add the tinned tomatoes and beef stock along with the kidney beans. Return all of the minced beef to the pan and stir well before seasoning lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil stirring occasionally before removing from the heat, placed the lid on tightly and place in the pre-heated oven for between 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours stirring halfway through until you have a slightly thick oozing chilli.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Ladle into bowls of boiled rice and top with soured cream and chopped coriander and a tortilla chips on the side.

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