Chilli con carne

Warm spice, comforting meat and beans, vibrant red tomatoes. Oh and of course there are the toppings - it would be a crime without them.

Tweaked from a BBC Good Food Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or grated
  • 1 teaspoon hot chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 500g (1lb) lean minced beef
  • 1 beef stock cube or 2 teaspoons beef stock powder
  • 400g (13oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • salt and pepper
  • 400g (13oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed


  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (big enough to hold the final chilli) and cook the onions for about 5 minutes, or until slightly translucent. Now tip in the red pepper, garlic, chilli powder, paprika and ground cumin. Stir well and leave to cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring occasionally.
  2. If you're in a hurry, use another frying pan to brown the minced beef while the onions and peppers are cooking. If you would rather save on washing up, remove the onion and pepper mixture from the pan when it is cooked and use the same pan for the beef. Either way, keep the heat high so that the meat browns nicely.
  3. Now tip everything into one pan and add the beef stock cube (or beef stock powder), the can of chopped tomatoes, 200ml (7 fl oz) water (TIP - pour the water into the empty can and slosh it around before you add it to the pan and you'll avoid wasting any of the tomato juice), oregano, sugar and tomato purée. Give everything a good stir and season well.
  4. Bring the whole thing to the boil and then simmer gently without a lid on for 20 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan to be sure it isn't getting too dry - you can always add a touch of extra water if you need it.
  5. Now add the beans and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Taste a bit of the chilli and season again if necessary. I think the flavours improve with time, so making it the day before you are going to enjoy it is always a good plan.
  7. Serve with your carb of choice and adorn with as many toppings as you can pile onto your plate!

Keywords: chilli con carne, family, midweek, toppings