Chilli con carne recipe (2024)

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 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 can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sugar (or add a thumbnail-sized piece of dark chocolate along with the beans instead, see tip)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410g can red kidney beans
  • plain boiled long grain rice, to serve
  • soured cream, to serve

Method

  • STEP 1

    Prepare your vegetables. Chop 1 large onion into small dice, about 5mm square. The easiest way to do this is to cut the onion in half from root to tip, peel it and slice each half into thick matchsticks lengthways, not quite cutting all the way to the root end so they are still held together. Slice across the matchsticks into neat dice.

  • STEP 2

    Cut 1 red pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and wash the seeds away, then chop. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves.

  • STEP 3

    Start cooking. Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot (a little longer for an electric hob).

  • STEP 4

    Add the onion and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft, squidgy and slightly translucent.

  • STEP 5

    Tip in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin.

  • STEP 6

    Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • STEP 7

    Brown 500g lean minced beef. Turn the heat up a bit, add the meat to the pan and break it up with your spoon or spatula. The mix should sizzle a bit when you add the mince.

  • STEP 8

    Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, mince-sized lumps and there are no more pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

  • STEP 9

    Make the sauce. Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture.

  • STEP 10

    Add a 400g can of chopped tomatoes. Tip in ½ tsp dried marjoram, 1 tsp sugar and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in about 2 tbsp tomato purée and stir the sauce well.

  • STEP 11

    Simmer it gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes.

  • STEP 12

    Check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

  • STEP 13

    Drain and rinse a 410g can of red kidney beans in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.

  • STEP 14

    Taste a bit of the chilli and season. It will probably take a lot more seasoning than you think.

  • STEP 15

    Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving. This is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle.

  • STEP 16

    Serve with soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice.

Recipe tips

Serving suggestions for chilli con carne

Serve it on a bed of plain, boiled rice, with a spoonful of soured cream on top. Pile it on tortilla chips and sprinkle it with grated cheddar. Wrap it up in a tortilla with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and guacamole for a great burrito.

What to serve with chilli con carne

This versatile dish works well with a variety of sides.

  • Nachos add some crunchy texture and act as a good dipping material.
  • If your chilli is extra spicy, then a bowl of coleslaw brings a cooling element.
  • Add a fresh salad for a light side - try our colourful Mexican corn salad or avocado and black bean salad.
  • For those with a big appetite, then potato wedges or loaded potato skins are good options for padding out the meal.

Tip to increase the flavour

Rather than add the teaspoon of sugar, you can stir in a small piece of chocolate (about the size of your thumbnail) when you add the beans. Any plain dark chocolate will do. Be careful not to add too much – you don’t want to be able to identify the flavour of the chocolate.

Try our vegan chilli recipe from our sister title olivemagazine.com/vegan-chilli.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2002

Chilli con carne recipe (2024)

FAQs

What is the secret to really good chili? ›

Only Add Flavorful Liquids

Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

How to make your chili con carne better? ›

10 ways to take chilli con carne to the next level
  1. Cook it in one pot only.
  2. Make it ahead by up to three days.
  3. Use fresh spices.
  4. Source traditional Mexican dried chillies.
  5. Use a marbled cut of beef (not mince!)
  6. Add coffee for extra flavour.
  7. Choose your beans.
  8. Use chocolate.
May 2, 2023

What's the magic ingredient for chili? ›

Canned Puréed Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a great addition to chili because it adds body, providing a natural creaminess and richness to your chili. This helps smooth things out a bit in that sea of meat and beans. It's flavorful too. It has a sweet earthiness to it that, when cooked, gets even tastier.

What is a portion of chili con carne? ›

For a regular serving of chilli con carne you would allow between 110g and 150g (4 to 5 ounces) of minced beef (ground beef) per person and then to that add roughly one chopped onion and one can of tomatoes per 500g (1 pound) of meat.

What is the most important spice in chili? ›

Most Common Chili Spices. Cumin, Chile Powders, and Paprika are the most common spices in chili followed by garlic, onion, coriander, Mexican oregano, and bay leaves. These ingredients can be combined to create a savory and well-balanced pot of top notch comfort food.

What adds the most flavor to chili? ›

Spices: While cumin, chile powder, and cayenne pepper tend to be common additions to many chili recipes, there's a broad world of flavor out there to experiment with. Try a little fenugreek, turmeric, garam masala, or sumac to layer in more complex flavors.

What makes the best chili meat? ›

You can really use any meat for chili, but here are the cuts that are most popular for classic chili:
  • Ground beef (80/20) ...
  • Ground sirloin (90/10) ...
  • Brisket. ...
  • Short ribs. ...
  • Tri-tip sirloin. ...
  • Work with your butcher to get multiple textures. ...
  • Use multiple animals to add depth. ...
  • Go for grass-fed and grass-finished beef.
May 11, 2021

How to pimp up chilli con carne? ›

Step things up with crunchies

The tenderness of a slow-cooked chilli con carne needs crunch. Serve tortilla chips, crackers or cornbread alongside it or place them in the bowl itself just before serving so they can be used as edible spoons to scoop up all the goodness with.

What to add to bland chilli con carne? ›

Add garlic, cumin, and probably more salt. Chipotle chili powder is really nice in chili. Just add a little at a time until it tastes the way you want it too. You can add more, but you can't remove what you put in.

What liquid is best for chili? ›

Instead of adding water to your chili, add some more flavor with chicken or beef broth, red wine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or even beet or wine. Each one of these options brings out different notes and levels of sweetness that will enhance your culinary creation.

Why do you put red wine vinegar in chili? ›

Stirred into the pot right before serving, a spoonful of vinegar brightens up the finished product, and gives it that full, rounded taste that was missing. Even if the chili recipe you're using doesn't call for vinegar, go ahead and add it anyway. You won't actually taste the tang or sharp flavor of the vinegar.

Why add vinegar to chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

What to accompany chilli con carne? ›

Best served with rice or piled high onto baked potatoes, dolloped with soured cream. See more speedy meals with our quick dinner collection and quick and healthy dinner recipes.

Why put chocolate in chili con carne? ›

MORE: THE QUICKEST WAY TO DESEED AND CHOP A CHILLI

“And, I add a teeny bit of dark chocolate,” she added. Meike Beck, Good Housekeeping's Cookery Director says that not only can dark chocolate add body, colour and depth, but it can also help balance out any acidity from the tinned tomatoes.

Why would you put vinegar in chili? ›

With only about 1 tablespoon per pot added toward the end of the cooking process, the vinegar will make the flavors more vibrant without overwhelming the dish with its biting tang. Through just a splash, everything becomes a little brighter, and the chili's flavors are more balanced.

How does Martha Stewart make chili? ›

Add chili powder, cocoa, and tomato paste; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, broth, and cooked beef. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until thickened slightly, 25 to 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve with sour cream and chives.

Is chili better the longer it cooks? ›

A low and slow cook time—at least an hour total—is key for drawing out the most flavor in a pot of chili. Yes, a quick chili is most welcome on weeknights, but it won't have quite the same results. A slow cooker works wonders, but if you're short on time, try a pressure cooker.

References

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