Monday, 6 July 2015

Chilli Con Carne with Minced Beef


Chilli Con Carne is a favourite dish in Winter in the Tropics, as it seems too hot in Summer to really spend the time cooking it, or consider eating it, although aromatic curries are still popular all year round. There are lots of recipes which use slow cooked shredded shin beef or chuck steak as a base for the Chilli, however with the rising cost of beef, and if you are entertaining a crowd, or if time is at a premium, using minced beef is a very suitable substitute and doesn't compromise on flavour at all. However, if you are entertaining your boss, or entering a cooking competition, or cooking for a very special occasion, I would go for quality and texture and opt for shredded slow cooked beef.

Also be aware that when cooking this dish that "some like it hot", and some do not. Serve plenty of water just in case.


1 tbsp oil
1 large onion
1 red capsicum
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon Mexican Chilli Powder, Medium strength (or 1 level tsp of hot chilli powder)
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
500 g lean minced beef
1 beef stock cube
400 g can tomatoes
2 tbsp homemade or commercially bought tomato sauce (no added sugar), or tomato puree
1 tsp sugar (only use if you have used tomato puree)
410 g can red kidney beans
Sour cream to serve
Long grain boiled white or brown rice to serve
Corn chips


  1. Chop the onion finely. Chop the capsicum into small pieces after removing the seeds and stalk. Peel and finely chop or mince the garlic cloves.
  2. Heat your pan on the stove over a medium heat. Add the oil and heat for 2 minutes. Add the onions, and cook whilst stirring regularly for 5 minutes, or until the onions are slightly translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, red pepper, chilli powder, ground cumin, and ground paprika. Stir it well and cook it for another 5 minutes so that the spices release their aromatic flavour.
  4. Add the mince to the pan and brown it on a medium high heat so that it browns rather than just stewing in its juices. This should take about 10 minutes whilst you stir and break it up with a spoon.
  5. To make the sauce, crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml of hot water. Pour this into the mince mixture in the pan. Add 1 can of chopped tomatoes and stir through. Add sugar if needed and salt and pepper to season. Just a good shake should be enough. Squirt in the tomato sauce and stir the sauce well.
  6. Simmer the sauce gently and bring it to the boil. Stir well,  and put the lid on the pan. Leave the mixture to gently simmer for 20 minutes. Check on the pan regularly to ensure it doesn't dry out or stick to the pan. Simmer until the sauce is thick and a nice rich colour.
  7. Drain and rinse the red kidney beans. Stir them into the chilli mixture. 
  8. Bring the mixture to the boil again and cook gently without the lid for another 10 minutes. Have a taste and add more seasoning if you think it needs it. If it is too dry add a little more water but it should be fine.
  9. Your chilli is now cooked. Replace the lid, take the pan off the heat, and leave the chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving. This will allow the flavours to settle and improve.

Serve with corn chips, boiled rice and sour cream.


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