Perfect chilli con carne

Chilli con carne

This great chilli is the perfect dish to serve to friends for a casual get-together.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 500g lean minced beef
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 410g can red kidney beans
  • plain boiled long grain rice, to serve
  • soured cream, to serve


First prepare your vegetables. Dice the onion into small pieces. Chop up the red pepper and peel and finely chop two garlic cloves.

Put your pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot. Add the onions and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for about 5 minutes. Tip in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn the heat up a bit, add the minced beef to the pan and break it up with your spoon. Keep stirring and prodding until all the mince is in uniform lumps and there are no more pink bits. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

Crumble a beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. Add the chopped tomatoes, ½ tsp dried marjoram and 1 tsp sugar, and add a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in about 2 tbsp tomato purée and stir the sauce well.

Simmer it gently. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes. You should check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

Stir in the drained and rinsed kidney beans. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes. Season the chilli to taste.

Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 minutes before serving with soured cream and rice.