18 March 2013

* Chilli Con Carne

Chilli Con Carne
I think everyone must have a favourite version of Chilli Con Carne. This is mine. It's based on a Jamie Oliver recipe from Happy Days with The Naked Chef and I'll confess that before cooking it Jamie's way, I had no clue how to make a chilli taste good. I could make a chilli. I just couldn't make one that I wanted to eat more than once.

The recipe called for two 400g cans of kidney beans, and I honestly thought "Whoa there cowboy!" I didn't even like kidney beans in the singular, let alone two whole plurals of them. Still, it's what the recipe said, so it's what I did.... that was many moons ago now, and the very beginning of my addiction to all things *pulses*. If I can stick a plural of beans into anything - I stick a plural of beans into everything.

You may have noticed this.

I fart A LOT. Which is fun if you are me, but not so much if you're with me. Or so I'm told.

There's no chocolate or coffee or horsemeat in this chilli - just good spices, the usual ingredients, BEANS... and love.
There is love in my chilli.

It's how I roll.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Serves 4 - 6

Prep time - 5 minutes
Cooking time - 2hrs 10 minutes

You will need
A large non stick skillet/pan with lid
A food processor (optional)

5 sprays fry light
2 onions - peeled
2 cloves garlic - peeled
1 fresh red chilli - deseeded
1 level tsp hot chilli powder
1 heaped tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 lb/500g lean beef steak mince
3oz/80g sundried tomato paste
2 x 14oz/400g cans tomatoes
1/2 stick cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
2 x 14oz/400g cans kidney beans
Handful grated cheddar (optional)

Blitz the onions, garlic and fresh chilli in the food processor using the chopping attachment, until finely chopped. Spray the skillet with the fry light and place over a medium heat, scoop the onion mixture into the pan, cook gently until soft - remembering to stir occasionally. About 5 minutes. Add the chilli powder, cumin and a little seasoning, then add the minced beef and cook, stirring, until browned.

Add the sun dried tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and cinnamon stick. Stir well, pop the lid on and simmer on the stove for an hour and a half

Add the drained kidney beans and cook for a further 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove the cinnamon stick and serve scattered with a handful of grated cheddar (optional) and with  rice or garlic bread and a fresh green salad.


5 propoints per serving for 6 people, 8 propoints per serving for 4 people


  1. I love chili! I started using cannellini beans (white kidney beans) in mine, because I had heard somewhere that they were better for you than red kidney beans. Are they? Who knows! Could be, but I don't really care. Now, I keep using the cannellini beans because my 13-yo ABHORS peas and beans of any kind (save green beans and wax beans), and it's easier for him to find the cannellini beans in order to pick them out of my chili.

    My chili recipe is very similar to yours, but I've never tried adding cinnamon. Chili is on my menu this week, so I'll have to give it a try!

    1. Oh GOD - I love cannellini beans too, though I didn't realise they were white kidney beans. I'll have to save that in my brain somewhere for use later on :)

      I couldn't tell you what the cinnamon adds to the chilli, but I do know it when I haven't used any. That made sense in my head.

      I'd love to know if you can taste any difference, or if it's all in my head ;)

  2. This might be just the perfect thing for this not-so-spring week we're having in the Wisconsin. Beans are among my favorite food but for some reason I've become friends with quite a few bean haters. Maybe I need new friends... :) Thanks for sharing!

    1. I too have problems finding friends that love beans as much as me - don't know if it's us or them that are dysfunctional ;)

  3. I'm a bean lover, too! When my kids were young, I went through a major bean phase. My children are all grown now, but they still haven't forgiven me for cooking so many dishes with beans. Your chili looks great and I like the idea of the cinnamon stick.

    1. Thanks, Terri!

      My hubby's a *bean tolerator* but my son won't touch 'em with a ten foot bargepole. If I have no beans in my cupboards my life is incomplete ;)


Thanks for dropping in to read my recipes (and ramblings). I love it when you let me know what you think - so please leave a comment and I promise to take the time to reply!

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