Chilli Con Carne

I can’t believe I’ve been cooking for this blog for almost a year, and I haven’t put up my chilli con carne recipe!


There was a time where I was known as the person to bring chilli to pot luck, usually alongside a tray of brownies. Chilli was my go-to when I wanted home-style cooking. Chilli was my go-to when I wanted to chuck something on the stove, and worry about other stuff. Chilli was my go-to when I wanted to share a recipe with a friend for a cookbook filled with recipes from her friends and family.


I haven’t made it a lot recently, but I’ve definitely made it while I’ve been writing this blog. It took a long time to actually make note of what I use in my chilli, because the recipe was passed down to me from my mum, who got it from her mum. And every single one of my family members adapts it slightly each time, adding something, taking something away, changing the meat.


Chilli is one of those dishes that I have always made by just “chucking things in” and adjusting the seasoning as I go. I also used to make chilli within an hour, and have slowly increased that time to 3 or 4 hours, if I have the time.


I stand by the idea that if the seasoning doesn’t work for you, change it to your tastes. I like my chilli with depth and a kick. Some people don’t like the taste of cinnamon (fools) or nutmeg. That’s fine. This is just a base. And a base is where all great recipes start.


I’ve also made this as a vegetarian chilli with sweet potato, peppers, lentils and courgettes, and with vegetable stock powder (or an undissolved cube).


This is a great meal for the colder months, and you can have it with any sides you want. Have it with sweet potato mash, rice, broccoli, in a burger bun, with avocado. However you want it. Have it.




800 grams mince beef
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground piri piri
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 powdered beef stock cube
1 tbsp instant coffee
2 squares dark chocolate
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can chopped tomatoes
3 mixed peppers, chopped
olive oil

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot, over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook for a few minutes. Add 1/2 of all of the spices, and stir well to coat the onions.
  2. Crumble the beef stock over the onions, stir well, then add the minced beef and garlic.
  3. Allow the beef to brown for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, along with a can-full of water. Stir to combine everything.
  4. Add the remaining spices, instant coffee, chocolate and tomato paste to the pot. Mix well, ensuring the chocolate melts throughout the chilli.
  5. Add the kidney beans, turn the heat down to low and cook for a minimum of 1 hour, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. I let mine cook for 3 hours, to ensure the best flavour, and allow all of the liquid has evaporated completely.
  6. Add the peppers for the last 20 – 30 minutes of the cooking.
  7. Divide into 5 portions, and serve with whatever you please.

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