Chilli Con Carne

I’ve made this a few times over the years, and my dad makes a very good chilli! There’s a few differences in this recipe so was looking forward to trying this recipe..


12 oz haricot or butter beans
A pinch of bicarbonate of soda
1.5 lb raw minced beef
0.5 oz fat or oil
1 onion chopped
1 green pepper chopped
15 oz can chopped tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1-2 level tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp vinegar
1 level tsp sugar

Soak the beans overnight in cold water with the bicarbonate of soda. Fry the beef in the fat or oil until lightly browned, then add the onion and pepper and fry for a further 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the beans and tomatoes and add the seasoning and chilli powder blended with the vinegar and sugar. Cover and simmer for 2-2.5 hours or until tender

The recipe goes on to say that red kidney beans are the traditional kind to use and should be added 10 minutes before the cooking time is completed.

I didn’t do the overnight soaking as I was using a can of haricot beans, I think in the past there has been the need to soak beans and lentils but these days you can buy ones that are ready to use. I was also using 1 lb of mince, so used a small onion, a smaller can of beans and a 14 oz can of tomatoes! I also munched on a few slices of pepper as I didn’t need the whole one!

So does this really need to cook for 2 hours? I have never cooked a chilli made with mince for that long before. I’ve made chilli with braising steak and I did cook that for 2 hours. I started this straight after work then left it to simmer while I headed out for a couple hours (didn’t leave it unattended, left it under the watchful eye of my sous chef aka my husband!!). It did dry out a bit so he had to add a bit more water during the cooking time. I also used the full 2 tsp of chilli as we quite like it hot!

After the 2 hours I didn’t think it looked like a chilli! It looked like mince with baked beans through it. Despite that it tasted amazing! It was quite a nice amount of chilli; although I think I’d add more next time. The mince was really really soft and I suppose cooking it all that time helped build up the flavour. The peppers were a nice addition.

We had this with boiled rice and have plenty left over for another day. Chilli con carne is one of my husbands favourites and although we really enjoyed this he said it wasn’t the best I’d ever made. I have to agree, as I felt it was missing something, it wasn’t as rich as some other chilli recipes I’ve made before, I quite often add stock, or even a splash of red wine!

Would I make this again? Yes, although it’s not the best chilli I’ve made it is pretty tasty!


4 thoughts on “Chilli Con Carne

  1. Hi! When I cook chilli con carne I normally do it in the pressure cooker and agree that the red kidney beans should be added for the last ten mins.

    I also prefer to use unminced beef, preferably shin, when making this dish. I have also read that the addition of dark chocolate enhances the flavour and wins many competitions in the States and Mexico.

    I have never tried it yet but I will.

    • We were talking about this in work today and somebody did ask me if I was adding chocolate. For purposes of my blog I am sticking to the recipe exactly as it is in the book but next time I’d try adding the chocolate!

    • I saw your chilli earlier this week and that’s what put me in the mood to make it! Have to say yours looks much better than mine! Although mine tasted it good I felt it didn’t look like a chilli if you know what I mean?? Like the idea of curry powder in it as well

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