Chilli con carne

Chilli con carne

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(1007 ratings)

Prep: 50 mins - 1 hr, 10 mins


Serves 4

This great chilli has to be one of the best dishes to serve to friends for a casual get-together

Nutrition and extra info

  • Can be frozen

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal387
  • fat17g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre6g
  • protein36g
  • salt2.32g
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  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion



    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



    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



    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


  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 (1030)

cdunne's picture

This is soooo nice - definitely the best chilli I have made!

jcurlylocks's picture

Simply delicious! The kid's and husband polished it off in minutes- winner!!

maiyanis's picture

Fantastic will definitely be making again.

clpomphrey's picture

Quick, easy and satisfying. To spice it up a bit we added some dried chilli flakes and cayenne pepper.

clpomphrey's picture

Quick, easy and satisfying. To spice it up a bit we added some dried chilli flakes and cayenne pepper.

curlyrara's picture

Lovely on tortillas with cheese and sour cream on top . Will definately make again - yummy!

amandaf's picture

I made this for a saturday night in with the girls. They loved it and i've made it for my husband and daughter since. This really is a great recipe. Trust me.

nicolaaberdeen84's picture

I asked my boyfriend to cook this as he's keen to trying to cook a bit more - turned out great and he found it easy to do. So from now on when ever we fancy a pot of chilli i'll be getting him to make this again. My Tip for making rice fluffy - boil rice in a pan as normal then drain in a seive - fill the pan up with water, bring to the boil and pop the seive on top and steam the rice- makes it really fluffy and lovely!

alethea000's picture

Make this with shin or brasing steak or indeed any other stewing steak/beef, lean if pos, (only cos I don't like brasied fat!) then you'll have quite an authentic version of chilli which is traditionally from texas. The addition of spice and pulses was intended to make the odd ends of meat leftover go further and also for preservation, I believe! I live in Spain and instead of canned tomatoes use Frito or fresh tomatoes baked then skinned to create a reall richness to the sauce, really good!

lismore's picture

I usually make this as a barbeque special. (On the barbeque) I make double quantity hoping to have some left fer freezing. NO CHANCE!!! Clean plates all around with no leftovers. Here's to the next BBQ.

hazelk2909's picture

Made this last week was lovely although next time i will add extra chilli powder as i like mine very spicy. Definitely making it again.

mrsnoonoo's picture

So easy to make. Very tasty - didn't have any marjoram so just left it out will try making it again with the marjoram.

lou-wilberfoss's picture

This is wonderful!

ajnkealing's picture

I added some coco powder rather than chocolate. I also added some fresh cherry tomatoes . Very easy to follow and tasted yummy

kate1706's picture

I agree with the last comment. Absolutely the best chilli recipe I have ever found - the whole family Loved it and woofed it up. Wont be searching for any more chilli con carne recipes anymore. Hoorah!

rheawimpenny's picture

Brilliant recipe, I think my boyfriend loves me a little bit extra when I make this!

arlenescott's picture

Tasty recipe! Method explained just how I need it to be - EXACTLY STEP BY STEP, and even mentions obvious instructions that sometimes you do forget. Excellent!

ah305180's picture

Especially good directions with this recipe,for those of you who like me are culinarychallenged.
Very tasty

reddeb1's picture

My new favourite Chilli recipe!!! So simple, great taste :) Made a double batch (froze 1/2 for a busy day!) and then simmered away in my slow cooker for a few hours to really bring out the flavours...YUM! I used a nice thick passata instead of chopped tomatoes (not keen on tinned chopped tomatoes!), so cut down on the water to compensate. My 5 year old said it was better than her Auntie Kim's :)

josp74's picture

What a great Chilli. I made with mild chilli powder as we were having it as a family and I'm the only one who likes spicy. We had it with jacket potatoes, sour cream and cheese and everyone loved it. This has now been added to my "regular" cook book. (I didn't do it with the chocolate, may try next time).


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