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

Chilli con carne recipe

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(1122 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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12111974
13th Mar, 2012
5.05
Brilliant was really easy to make and even nicer to eat - this is the one from now on!
autismguy
11th Mar, 2012
5.05
Was the best chilli I have ever tasted. Insanely easy to cook too. Just make sure to keep adding the salt at the end until it tastes right. Was a little bland at first, but when the salt drew out the flavours in the spices it was great!
c20h25n3o
10th Mar, 2012
5.05
Ha! I registered here just to be able to comment on this. One word: WOW! I made some minor alterations. I added some an extra onion, some spicy peppers and I didn't have any marjoram. But aside from that, this was some dish. My wife and I really really enjoyed it thoroughly. Thanks heaps to whoever put this on the internet. Best recipe I've found online, EVER.
dkreidk
8th Mar, 2012
5.05
Tried chilli con carne as a child and did not like it (think down to cook not cooking it proper) had lot's of beef mince and ran out of ideas found this recipe and have been making it ever since lovely! I don't put choc in but overall great recipe.
rapata80
6th Mar, 2012
5.05
Could not get a power packet mix for chilli, so decided to tackle making from scratch as had all spices/herbs in and this tasted fantastic! But next time I think it will need abit more heat/chilli. Never again will I be lazy and buy another packet mix!
candj23
5th Mar, 2012
5.05
Should have left a comment some time ago! I have been making this Chilli for some months now and it has become a firm favourite with the family. My suggestion is to try it as described here and if you find it a little mild (I use the Hot Chilli Powder 1tsp) then try slicing up one fresh green chilli and add it in with the peppers and garlic etc. Once you have tried that then you can add more or less as you find your preferred strength. We are now using 3 Fresh Green Chilli’s but then we do make double the quantity and freeze it down. I should add that it tastes even better after freezing and re-heating. An excellent recipe and well worth trying.
mareen
5th Mar, 2012
4.05
I want to cook it this weekend :)
mareen
5th Mar, 2012
4.05
I want to cook it this weekend :)
tommygsd
4th Mar, 2012
Used smoked paprika Very nice quick and tasty recipe.
2ageary
3rd Mar, 2012
5.05
I've been looking for a good chilli recipe for a while and this has done the job perfectly. Added the chocolate for a lovely twist.

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