Classic chilli con carne recipe

By Lucy Williams

  1. Serves 8
  2. Takes 15 minutes to make, 2¼ hours to cook
  3. Rating

Some purists say that beans, and even tomatoes, are not authentic additions, but a chilli con carne recipe without them would be unthinkable to most people.

tried and tested
Classic chilli con carne


  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 2 onions, finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  4. Small bunch fresh coriander, leaves picked and kept to one side; stalks reserved
  5. 2 green chillies, finely diced
  6. 1-2 tsp dried red chilli flakes
  7. 2 tsp ground cumin
  8. 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  9. 2 tsp dried oregano
  10. 1kg good-quality beef mince
  11. 2 tbsp tomato purée
  12. 200ml red wine
  13. 600g canned chopped tomatoes
  14. 2 tbsp black treacle
  15. About 1 litre good-quality beef stock
  16. 2 red peppers, diced
  17. 400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  18. 1 lime, cut into wedges


  1. 1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole and gently fry the onions, garlic, coriander stalks and chillies for 5 minutes until softened. Stir through the spices and oregano and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. 2. Turn the heat up to medium-high, add the beef mince and brown it well, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once browned, add the tomato purée and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the red wine, allowing it to reduce to a sticky sauce – this will take about 2 minutes.
  3. 3. Stir through the canned tomatoes and black treacle, and add enough beef stock to cover. Stir well and bring to boiling point. Put the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. 4. Remove the lid, add the red peppers and cook for a further 10 minutes. Then add the kidney beans, season really well and cook for 20 minutes more until the sauce is reduced to your liking. Taste and adjust the heat (with chilli flakes) and seasoning. Top with the coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice and lime wedges.

Nutritional info

Per serving: 395kcals, 22.5g fat (6.3g saturated), 36.9g protein, 18.1g carbs, 10.5g sugar, 1.5g salt

Chef's tip

To freeze: the finished, cooled dish can be frozen in a sealed plastic container for up to 3 months. Defrost fully before reheating until piping hot.


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