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Chili / Chilli con Carne Recipe

A pseudo-Mexican dish, whereby minced or cubed beef is mixed with chopped chili peppers, and spices (such as cinnamon, cumin) and red kidney beans.
'Con carne' meaning 'with meat'.
It was originally called 'carne con chili' when invented by a German in San Antonio, Texas, in about 1902. In Texas, it's just known as 'Chili'.
Here is good version of it.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - top-class dishes from beginners upwards


For 6 main-course helpings:

- 2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil (such as Sunflower) - olive oil would be wasted

- 1 large, or 2 medium-sized Onions, peeled and chopped

- 2 large/ 3 medium cloves of Garlic, peeled and finely chopped

- 1½ lbs/750gr Fine Beef Mince/or finely-cubed if preferred)

- 2 x 400gr tins of Tomatoes - those from Italy are usually the best in our experience

- 2 x 400gr tins of Red Kidney beans - drained, and rinsed

- 3oz/90gr Tomato Purée (optional - but a good enrichment)

- 1 Bay Leaf (fresh or dried)

- 1 teaspoon (5ml) ground Cumin

- 1 teaspoon dried Oregano

- 2 teaspoons (10ml) chili powder or 2 finely-chopped chili peppers, including the seeds

- ½ pint/300ml Beef Stock

- Salt & pepper to taste


Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wide saucepan over a low heat.

- Add the onions, and 'sweat' them without browning until they're translucent.

- Add the chopped garlic, and cook slowly for a further minute.

- Raise the heat to moderate, then add the meat, and move it around with a wooden spoon until it's brown - breaking up any lumps (which tend to stick together) as you go.

- Add all the other ingredients - except the kidney beans and the salt and pepper, and mix everything together.

- Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat and gently cook on the top of the stove, or in the oven at 300°F/Gas 2 for 1 hour - in both cases, the mixture should be covered, tin foil would suffice if you don't have a lid that fits.

- Add the drained beans, mix them well in, and cook slowly for a further 20 minutes.

Serve with a little rice, or with crusty bread and a side salad.

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