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Chilli con carne

Chilli – winner, winner it’s chilli for dinner! 

Once you master a perfect chilli, you have so many meal options available. Chilli con carne, chilli jacket potatoes, chilli and salad, tacos…. the list goes on and on. 

Here we have our favourite tried and tested chilli which always passes the test. Homemade, but you can instead use a jar mix of course to save time, however we do like to cook it from scratch. 

Great in the slow cooker or cooked on the hob, this chilli also freezes well and can be cooked in bit batches in advance. Let us know what you think in the comments! 


  • Garlic – 2 cloves
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 chilli pepper
  • 500g lean beef mince 
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes 
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 410g can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil 
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder (use 1 if you prefer a mild chilli) 
  • 1 tsp sugar


Chop the onion, garlic, red pepper, and chilli pepper roughly. Add oil to the pan on a medium heat and start to fry off the chopped onion first, until soft. 

Add the garlic, red pepper, and chilli pepper until fragrant. Add in the chilli powder, paprika and cumin and stir well. Leave to cook together for 5 minutes. 

Turn the heat to high. Add the mince, break up and cook through until there are no pink bits of mince. 

Boil water and dissolve the beef stock in 300mls of freshly boiled water. Add this to the pan and stir well. 

Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and stir well again. Once stirred through, add the sugar (if desired) and allow to cook on high for a few minutes. 

Reduce the heat, add a lid, and allow to simmer away for 15-20 minutes. Check on the sauce levels regularly and if the mince or onion mixture is catching on the bottom of the pan, add a splash more water and stir thoroughly. 

Drain and rinse the red kidney beans and add to the chilli, stirring well to mix through. Turn the heat to high and bring the sauce to a bubble, adding more water as you go if required. The kidney beans need around 10 minutes to cook and soften. 

Taste and season if required. Once you are happy with the seasoning, turn off the heat, add the lid back and leave to sit for 5-10 minutes. Although this may seem like an odd step, it really does enhance the flavour of the chilli – try it! 

Finally, serve with fresh fluffy rice, jacket potatoes, a side salad or whatever you fancy. 

Soured cream or cheese is good with a chilli and works to counter the heat. You can also garnish with some fresh chopped parsley, or serve with a slice of lime. 

If freezing, remember to allow to cool fully before placing in the freezer in airtight and labelled pots. 

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