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Chilli Con Carne

One of the ultimate comfort foods, for me, is Chilli Con Carne. But not any Chilli Con Carne I mean, really good Chilli Con Carne. It has to be hot and spicy, but rich full of flavour that makes you want to finish every mouthful. While Chilli is quite a rustic, homey meal, it can also be very luxurious when done right.

I’ve made quite a few chillies over the years, and they can be made in many different with any combination of ingredients. But this recipe carries some of the staples of my chilli dishes that I use nearly every single time – I always use fresh chillies as well as chilli powder, since they provide the full flavour as well as the heat. I like to use beer since a lot of recipes call for red wine, but I feel this can sometimes overpower the flavour of the meat, and a good beer provides a great flavour but without taking over the dish. I also love to add in some chunks of steak as well because this gives a great texture to the dish, and you get chunks of tender meat with every other mouthful, which is amazing. Lastly, I always add in some dark chocolate at the end of the cooking because this gives the whole dish a wonderfully dark colour.

But, the best part of this dish, it doesn’t need to be cooked all day like some chillies require you to. I won’t deny that the longer you cook a Chilli the more flavoursome and tender it’ll be, but this only requires around an hour and a half of cooking, and it’ll still taste like it’s been cooking all day long in a slow cooker. If you love Chilli give it a try, you really won’t regret it.

Chilli Con Carne

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 2 hours


  • 500g Beef Mince (10% Fat minimum)
  • 2 x Rump Steaks
  • 1 x Tin of Red Kidney Beans
  • 2 x Large Onions
  • 4 x Garlic Cloves
  • 6 x Rashers of Streaky Bacon
  • 2 x Tins of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 x Tin of Cherry Tomatoes (or Plum Tomatoes if you prefer)
  • 6 x Red or Green Chillies
  • 50g Dark Chocolate
  • 330ml Beer
  • 100ml Water
  • 1 x Beef Stock Pot (or stock cube)
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chilli Powder
  • 2 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tsp Cayenne Powder
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • Splash of Bourbon
  • 200g Basmati Rice



First, grab a bowl, add the rice into it and cover in cold water and leave the rice to soak.


Cut the steaks into bite-size pieces, add some oil to a very large saucepan over a high heat. Add the steak and mince into the oil and cook until the mince and steak is nicely browned all over. Remove the pot and set to one side.


Finely dice both onions, and add them to the oil in the saucepan (add more oil if you need to), turn the heat down to as low as it'll go, and cook the onions for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.


After the 10 minutes is up, chop the garlic finely and add into the onions and cook for a further five minutes. Add the garlic now prevents it from burning and becoming very bitter.


Roughly chop up the streaky bacon and add this into the onions and garlic, and cook for a few minutes. While the bacon cooks, slice up your chillies to about ¼ cm thick. You can remove the seeds and white pith to lessen the heat, but I like to leave them in. Add these to the pan.


Now add your herbs and spices into the pan - this is the chilli powder, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin and oregano. Mix with the onion, garlic, bacon and chilli and cook for a few minutes while stirring regularly to prevent the spices from sticking and burning.


Next, add in your browned mince and steak, quickly stir them in the spice and onion mixture in the pan for a moment to get it all coated, then add in the two tins of chopped tomatoes and the tin of cherry tomatoes, and stir to combine.


Next, add the worcestershire sauce, stock cube, beer and 100ml of water and stir to combine it all until stock pot/cube melts. Add a healthy splash of bourbon.


Bring up to a simmer, place the lid on and leave to gently simmer for 1 hour, stirring every so often.


After the hour is up, remove the lid, rinse the kidney beans and add to the chilli and leave to cook for another 30 minutes with the lid off. Stir occasionally to stop the chilli from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan.


Towards the end of the chilli's cooking time, pour the soaked rice into a sieve and rinse under cold running water for a minute or two. Fill a pan with twice the amount of water to rice (around 400ml), bring to the boil, add in the rice with a pinch of salt, and bring down to heat until the rice is simmering and cook for 12 minutes. Don't add a lid to the saucepan as this will generally cause the water to boil over!


After the half an hour is up, add the 50g of dark chocolate to the chilli, and stir it in thoroughly until it's completely melted. The chilli should have a lovely dark, thick texture but still have a lovely saucy consistency.


Drain your rice, it should be lovely and fluffy and not sticky at all, and serve with the chilli. Add a spoonful of yoghurt or sour cream if you wish to dial down the heat. Otherwise, enjoy!

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