Chilli con carne recipe

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This chilli con carne recipe is without doubt, my ultimate no garlic version, perfected over many years.  Simple to cook and mouth-wateringly tasty this main course has always been a firm favourite amongst friends.  It is so quick and easy to make and so rewarding to eat.  I hope you enjoy this low to medium hot chilli. For a hotter chilli, just add more chilli powder to taste.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Preparation Time: 50 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes


  • 1 tbsp of oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 25 mm (1”) fresh grated ginger
  • (optional) 1 medium onion, diced small
  • 1 tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 lb 4 oz (500 g) of lean minced/ground beef
  • 1 lb (380 g) can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 level tsp of medium chilli powder
  • 1 tsp of dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp of palm sugar or caster sugar
  • 2 tsp of tomato puree
  • 1 380 g (1 lb) can of well rinsed kidney beans
  • Half a cup of drinkable red wine (optional)
  • 2 cups (240 ml) of long grain rice, boiled as pack, to serve.
  • Soured cream to serve as a side dish.
How to Make It
  1. Prepare the vegetables. Chop the optional onion, diced into small chunks, or grate the fresh ginger. Cut the red pepper into thin long strips, discard the seeds.
  2. Put a large frying pan on a medium heat and add the oil.  It should be hot and ready to fry in about 1 to 1½ minutes. Now add the onions and cook until they become transparent and soft.  Now add the red pepper, ginger, chilli powder, paprika and ground cumin. Stir together for about 5 minutes. Set aside in the pan.
  3. Now in a separate frying pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and leave for a minute or so on a high heat.  Now add the mince/ground meat and as you stir, make sure you break up the meat so that it isn’t in clumps, but is broken down into individual beads of meat. Keep stirring and breaking down for about 7 minutes. Fry on hot until the meat turns a nice golden brown. Turn heat down to simmer.
  4. To make the chilli sauce, crumble the beef stock cube into 300 ml (10 fl oz) of hot water. Now pour this into the beef pan. Pour in the can of tomatoes and stir. Next, add the marjoram and sugar, add salt and pepper to taste (2:1 ratio) and stir. Now squeeze in the tomato puree and stir on simmer for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the other pan of vegetables and spices, together with the meat and bring to the boil. Then immediately turn the heat down, simmer and cover with the lid, mixing occasionally. If necessary, add a few tablespoons of water to the sauce if it looks like its drying out. It should start to look moist, juicy and thick.
  6. Rinse the kidney beans thoroughly, drain and then add to the mix, gently stirring them evenly in the pan. At this stage, taste the chilli sauce and if it needs more chilli powder add another teaspoon of dried chilli until satisfied with the strength. Cook for a further 10 minutes on low heat.
  7. Now leave to stand for 15 minutes with the lid on. This is an important part of the process and it enables all the flavours to permeate through the mixture.
  8. Finally, serve with the sour cream and rice.

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