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

Chilli con carne recipe

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(1153 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.

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

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Comments, questions and tips

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roblister
22nd May, 2012
5.05
I have been looking for a good chilli for a long time. This ticks all the boxes. Much better than any of the jar/packet stuff I have tried. I thought I had every herb and spice under the sun, but didn't have marjoram. Followed the recipe otherwise and added a dash of Worcestershire sauce and a touch of chipotle Tabasco. After the initial cooking in the pan finished off in a slow cooker for about 2 hours. I did the chocolate mod also but used cocoa. Went down well with salsa, sour cream, jalapeños, boiled rice and a tortilla. Now on my favourites list.
krichings
20th May, 2012
5.05
Best chilli recipe I've come across. Slightly time consuming, but definitely worth it if you plan enough time. Cooked mine in a le creuset cast iron pot. Perfect for freezing too.
misspepperpot
18th May, 2012
5.05
Never cooked Chilli Con Carne before however found this recipe very easy to follow. I crackled about a teaspoon and a half of cumin seeds in oil before adding the onion and used chilli flakes as I did not have any chilli powder. Also added a dash of both Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce to give a bit of kick and swapped marjoram for oregano (as I didn't have any). I ate it with rice and can't wait 'til tomorrow to have some more :)
taandem
13th May, 2012
5.05
We enjoyed this recipe a lot. The flavours are delicious, the amount of spices is perfect. We will definitely cook it again.
magali612
13th May, 2012
5.05
great recipe! i liked the chocolate addition and the amount of spices is just right!
charlottemclaughlin1
11th May, 2012
Love this Recipe!!!! It's easy to make and tastes great. I will be using again and again :-)
autismguy
10th May, 2012
5.05
Easy recipe for a great tasting chilli
agnieszka81
6th May, 2012
5.05
Love it, easy and tasty :)
susie0655
5th May, 2012
5.05
Made this for the first time for my daughter. She loved it so much she took the remainder home!
barrins
27th Apr, 2012
5.05
Made this last night, used a carton of passata and one can of chopped toms. Used one red and one green pepper and also added a fresh red and green chilli as we like it hot. Also added alot more tom puree as it seemed a litte watery. Its a fabulous chilli receipe and the chocloate at the end added a nice twist!

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