A close up of cooked chilli con carne in the pan with chocolate melting on top

Chilli con carne recipe

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(1090 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins - 1 hr, 10 mins

Easy

Serves 4

This great chilli recipe has to be one of the best dishes to serve to friends for a casual get-together. An easy sharing favourite that uses up storecupboard ingredients.

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal387
  • fat17g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre6g
  • protein36g
  • salt2.32g
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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
    Paprika

    Paprika

    pa-preek-ah

    A spice that's central to Hungarian cuisine, paprika is made by drying a particular type of…

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sugar
    Sugar

    Sugar

    shuh-ga

    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410g can red kidney beans
  • plain boiled long grain rice, to serve
  • soured cream, to serve

Method

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

  2. Start cooking. Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot (a little longer for an electric hob). Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft, squidgy and slightly translucent. 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. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Brown the 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. 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.

  4. Making the sauce. Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. Open 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g can) and add these as well. Tip in ½ tsp dried marjoram and 1 tsp sugar, if using (see tip at the bottom), and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in about 2 tbsp tomato purée and stir the sauce well.

  5. 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. You should 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.

  6. Bring on the beans. Drain and rinse 1 can of red kidney beans (410g can) 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. Taste a bit of the chilli and season. It will probably take a lot more seasoning than you think. Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving, and relax. Leaving your chilli to stand is really important as it allows the flavours to mingle and the meat.

  7. Serve with soured cream and plain boiled long grain rice.

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Comments, questions and tips

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nischi
9th Oct, 2016
5.05
Great recipe, I didn't have any dark chocolate so added 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and cinnamon at the end which worked rather nicely. I also added celery salt as suggested by some of the other comments.
solan goose
9th Oct, 2016
I am a bit of a chilli fan to say the least. I would say double up on dry spices otherwise it's too bland IMO. I don't see anything special about this recipe at all over others, am I missing something? I don't bother with red pepper as it's too sweet to have in a chilli. Instead, fresh green bird eye or finger chillies with seeds are good, but reduce chilli powder unless you like it hot like me. The small piece of dark chocolate at the end strangely works though, I have done this before. It adds a nice velvety texture without the taste of the chocolate.
monty62713
1st Oct, 2016
This is an excellent recipe. I added a green pepper for colour, 4 sticks of celery for a tasty crunch and substituted normal salt with celery salt. It was very good, good enough to eat!
christinashuttl...
29th Sep, 2016
5.05
Best chilli I have ever made, make it all the time now and my husband loves it! Especially tasty when adding the dark chocolate
kylee2427
25th Sep, 2016
Excellent recipe, tasty and easy to make.
DropWallet
29th Sep, 2016
5.05
Agreed - delicious
DropWallet
30th Sep, 2016
5.05
I've had it again - still soooooo good!
simonjohnrobertz
30th Nov, 2016
Ha, it was that tasty eh!
Frederick Wasnidge
17th Sep, 2016
I am in the process of cooking this recipe this evening. I added an extra clove of garlic, a couple bay leaves, a few stalks of celery (chopped) and a few thin spicy Merguez sausages (well pan-fried and thinly sliced for extra piquancy) and OMITTED any sugar or chocolate! ... . If the "quality control" tastings are any indication, it is going to be AMAZING! ... . Fred
stroudg1
12th Sep, 2016
Best chilli ever - always a success - definitely add the chocolate - gives it such a great flavour.

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