Chilli Con Carne


Mexican is for me one of those summer cuisines. Chilli Con Carne brings back memories of lighter foods, and such flavour. Serve in either a taco or a wrap with a side of coriander, lettuce, springs onions, lime and Hot Chilli Sauce. Or as nachos. But always with  grilled corn as a side. Any chance to eat grilled corn should be taken. Other additions such as guacamole and salsa are great, but this dish can stand alone. If you feel like a chicken alternative, try the Chicken Adobo – another Mexican favourite of mine.

Serves: 4
Cooking Time: Around 1 and a half hours, although you can live dangerously with the heat on high and finish in 30 minutes.


+ 2 teaspoons ground cumin
+ 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice
+ 1-2 tablespoons chilli powder
+ 1 teaspoon paprika
+ 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
+ 1 large onion, finely chopped
+ 2 garlic cloves, crushed
+ 2 small red chillies, seeded and finely chopped *
+ 500 g minced beef
+ 400 g tin of whole tomatoes
+ 2 tablespoons tomato paste
+ 1 heaped tablespoon of cocoa
+ 425 g tin of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
+ 250 ml beef stock
+ 1 tablespoon of chopped oregano, or parsley
+ 1 tablespoon of raw, or brown sugar
* Or you can use some dried chillies if you want less heat, or that is what happens to be around.


Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, and dry fry the cumin, allspice, chilli and paprika for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the onion until soft, before adding the garlic and fresh chilli. Cook for another minute. Add the mince and cook over a high heat until mince is browned throughout. Be sure to break up any lumps with a fork.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, cocoa, kidney beans, stock, oregano, sugar and the spices you prepared earlier. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring every so often to gently break up the tomatoes. Do this for one hour, or until reduced and thickened. If you would like the speedier version, add slightly less stock and leave the heat a little higher. Be sure to remain vigilant though as this technique can halve the time, but double the risk of it catching on the bottom of your pot.

Season with salt and pepper before serving. Serving suggestions in the comments above.

Original recipe sourced from the Family Archives.

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