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Chilli Con Carne Brit-style

Introduction & method

In Texas and Mexico, Chilli con carne would typically be made using diced beef, a blend of 3 or 4 different types of chilli and probably no beans. It would be stinkin' hot. In the British version we use minced beef, 1 type of chilli ('red'!) and beans, usually red kidney beans. So, not authentic, but very tasty.

Chilli Con Carne Brit-style Recipe


Peel and dice the onion. Thinly slice the chillies. Mince the garlic and chop the tomatoes if they're not already chopped. Make sure your kidney beans are canned in water, not a chilli or tomato sauce. Drain and rinse them. Finely chop the coriander.

Cook the Chilli con Carne

Heat a generous amount of oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes until softened but not browned. Add the garlic, cumin seeds, chilli flakes and chillies and cook for a minute or two. Now turn up the heat a little and add the minced beef. Break it up with a spatula and keep ressing the red bits into the pan and turning and mixing it until all the beef is browned. Add the stock, tomatoes and passata and simmer for half an hour. Stir in the beans, black pepper and half of the chopped coriander. Taste for seasoning and add salt if required.

You could call it cooked at this point, but it does benefit from a couple of hours in a low oven so heat your oven to 160°C (320°F) for a fan/convection oven, 180°C (356°F) conventional, gas 4. Transfer the chilli to a casserole dish, place the lid on and put it in the oven for two or three hours.

Serve the Chilli con Carne

Chilli can be served with rice, or tortillas, or chips or even mashed potato. Garnish with chopped spring onions, coriander and a dollop of soured cream or yoghurt.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Chilli Con Carne Brit-style on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 500 grams minced (ground) beef
 400 grams can red kidney beans
 400 grams can chopped tomatoes
 250 grams tomato passata
 500 ml beef stock
 3-4 red birdseye chillis
 2 cloves garlic
 1 medium onion
 1 tsp cumin seeds
 1 tsp ground black pepper
 1 tbsp cocoa powder
 half a tsp red chilli flakes


You'll need some oil for sautéeing, and chopped spring onion or coriander for garnish.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 4 
Prep time: 30 minutes.
Cooking time: 2 hours.
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes.