As winter takes firm grip, our thoughts turn to spicier hot food, and what better than a traditional–if there can be such a thing–chili con carne. Do bear in mind that it is chili con carne, not carne con chili, and step up the heat factor. Of course, it is all in your hands so swing it around a bit, but it must have classic ingredients –chili, beans, and tomato–otherwise– the field is open. The sour cream is a must have. Enjoy



Chili Con Carne


1 large onion

1 red pepper

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp oil

1 heaped tsp hot chili powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild) or use a fresh chili chopped up (seeds removed)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp grated ginger (optional)

1 tsp ground cumin 500g lean minced beef 1 beef stock cube

400g can chopped tomatoes

½  tsp dried marjoram

1 tsp sugar (or add a thumbnail-sized piece of dark chocolate along with the beans instead, see

tip) We used the chocolate.

410g can red kidney beans. We used a can of mixed beans.

plain boiled long grain rice, to serve soured cream, to serve

We used rice vermicelli in place of the rice.

2 cobs of corn, cooked on the cob and then cooled and the kernels taken off the cob (optional – but it makes a big difference) Frozen kernels cooked will also work.




Step 1      Prepare your vegetables. Chop- 1 large onion into small about 5mm squares.

Step 2      Cut 1 red or green pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and seeds away, then chop. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves

Step 3      Start cooking 1 tbsp oil and leave it for 1-2 minutes until hot (a little more on an electric hob).

Step 4      Add the onion and cook, stirring fairly frequently, for a few minutes.

Step 5      Tip in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or chopped chilli) level tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp g cumin (and ginger if desired).

Step 6      Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 mins stirring occasionally.

Step 7      Brown  500g lean minced beef in another pan and add to the vegetables

Step 8      Keep stirring and prodding for at least 5 minutes, until mince is broken up and no longer pink. Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for it to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

Step 9      Make the sauce. Crumble   beef stock cube into 300m water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture.

Step 10      Add a 400g can of chopped tomatoes. Tip in ½   tsp d marjoram, 1 tsp sugar and add a

good shake of salt. Squirt in about 2 tbsp tomato puree and stir the sauce.

Step 11      Bring the whole thing to the boil, stir and put a lid on the pan.

Turn down the heat until bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes.

Step 12      Check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t out of liquid. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure the heat is low enough. After simmering saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

Step 13      Drain and rinse a 410g can of red kidney beans and stir them into the chilli pot.

Turn the heat up a bit again, and bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding more water if it looks too dry. Add the corn if you want at this stage.

Step 14      Taste a bit of the chili and season. It will probably take more seasoning than you


Step 15      Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your mixture for 10 minutes.

Step 16      Serve with rice and sour cream which makes all the difference

See the chocolate!