Oldie but goodie: Chilli Con Carne

I remember looking forward to my mums chilli con carne during my school days. We often ate egyptian type curries and stews,  so a chilli con carne was a breath of fresh air. My mother would make it from fresh, non of that packet stuff. Although she’d probably scoff at my optional addition of the chocolate, she doesn’t like to ‘faff about’  as she’d put it. However when she tries my chilli she hardly complains funnily enough. This dish is definitely a people pleaser especially with kids, my 14month old boy can’t get enough of its saucy meaty goodness. Serving it on jacket potatoes for dinner was a treat, we loved it so much we even served some with our eggs & hash browns the next morning 😉 

A.E x

What you’ll need

▪️1 tbsp oil

▪️1 large onion (diced)

▪2 garlic cloves, (minced)

▪1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)

▪1 tsp paprika

▪1 tsp ground cumin

▪500g lean minced beef

▪1 beef stock cube

▪400g chopped tomatoes

▪½ tsp dried oregano, Basil & thyme

▪1 tsp sugar or (thumb sized piece of dark chocolate)

▪2 tbsp tomato purée

▪400g red kidney beans (drained &  rinsed)


-Heat a tablespoon of oil in a deep pan or wok over a medium heat.

-Add the onions and cook until the onions are soft & slightly translucent.

-Add in the garlic, chilli powder, paprika and ground cumin. Give it a good stir & leave it to cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

-Turn the heat up & add the minced beef and brown, making sure you break up the meat. Cook for 5 mins till the meat is crumbled well and no longer pink.

-Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water & pour this into the mix along with the chopped tomatoes, stir well and add the oregano, thyme, Basil, sugar (or dark chocolate) & season with salt and pepper to taste. Squirt in tomato purée and stir to combine all ingredients.

-Bring to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and leave it for 20 minutes. Stir it occasionally to avoid sauce sticking to the bottom.  If it is getting dry add a couple tablespoons of water and keep heat low.

-The saucy chilli mixture should look thick & juicy after the 20mins. It’s time to stir in those yummy red kidney beans. Bring to the boil and gently cook without the lid for another 10 minutes. At this point taste and season to your liking (I found I had to add more salt)

-Replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10mins, this encourages the flavours to sink in to that mince.

It’s then ready to serve.

I usually serve my chilli with rice or even spaghetti. But I felt like having it with a baked potato and a sprinkling of parmesan and some minted broccoli instead & it was delicious, don’t forget to mop up all that sauce!


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