Chilli Con Carne

Here in the UK, the days are crisp and the nights chilly, people are getting cosied up under blankets, (at least I am!) and at night you can hear fireworks going off, in anticipation for Guy Fawkes Night!

Lat week, after one of those autumnal morning walks, when you start out cold but the walking warms you up and the array of colorful trees distract you and leave you in aww, on my way home, starting to feel cold again, I suddenly craved and was ready for a hearty chilli Con Carne. The problem was I'd made the best chilli my friend and I  had ever witnessed a couple years back (if I say so myself! Miss modest over here!) and not made it since so did not remember exactly what I had done. *note to self- write these things down and keep in a fire proof/erase proof container!

So, I went about not stressing to go for the ultimate and came up with a FANTASTIC one. At the end of the day, I realized ALL Chilli Con Carnes are yummy!!! That's why we love them so much!

So without further ado this is what you need for mine - but do note, that a lot of it can be done in different orders, just that I did it this way, this time around.

Serves 4:


*warning, mine is spicy but the dollop of créme freche makes it amazing!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium white onions, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 medium/large red chilli peppers, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 tspoon chilli flakes
1 tspoon cayenne pepper
2  teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, chopped
1 tspoon oregano 
1 tspoon marjoram
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 red bell peppers (most people only put in one but I love it so much I always put more!) chopped
500grams mince meat
1 tinned chopped tomatoes
Optional - 3 fresh tomatoes
Half a cup of passata 
300ml beef stock
600 grams cooked red kidney beans, rinse very well, if they are tinned
2 squares of dark chocolate
Salt & pepper to taste
1 lime
*water on tap if need to add as you go along

What to do:

1. Put one tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot and heat
2. Put in the chopped onions and stir on a medium heat for 6 minutes, keep stirring to make sure the onions don't burn 
3. Add the garlic, stir for 2-3 minutes and then
4. Add the carrots and celery, stir and leave to cook on low heat for about 6 minutes. Keep an eye out and stir once in a  while to avoid any burning.

5. In that time, get your meat, and sprinkle some salt and black pepper on it. 
6.Get another larger pot and put one tablespoon olive oil in there. Put the heat on high.
7. Once the pot is hot, put the meat in. Break the meat up well with a large spoon
 8. Put the heat on medium now and stir in all the spices and herbs into the meat pot and mix. However, only put half the fresh chilli and half the chilli flakes in.
9. Put a lid on the pot and have on low heat for 5 minutes.
10. Get all the ingredients from your vegetable pot and put into the larger meat pot. Stir and keep on low to medium heat for 10 minutes.

11. Add the tomatoes; tinned, optional fresh and passata
12. Add the beef stock
13. Simmer for 15 minutes
14. Add the red bell peppers and keep simmering for another 25 minutes with lid just a tiny bit ajar
15. Every ten minutes check the pot to make sure it has enough water in, if not, do add water as you go along.
16. Add the chocolate- stir to mix and melt
17. Now put in the beans and the rest of the chilli -taste the pot to see if you need a bit more salt at this point- if so do add a sprinkle or two
18. Now, sit back and let simmer for another half an hour and you're good to go! (although by sitting back I mean do check it every 1 minutes to see if enough water etc)

*Chilli tastes better and better the more it's slowly cooked and the more you leave it - it's always even better the next day! But I ate this straight out of the pot I was so eager and it was delicious!

To garnish

1 big dollop of Créme Freche
squeeze of half a lime
sprinkle of coriander leaves

*other options can be grated cheddar cheese or any other cheese for that matter!
chopped spring onions

A Guy Fawkes tradition is to usually have the chilli in a jacket potato cooked by the bonfire/campfire but oven for me!
Other serving suggestions can be with rice, with bread as I did or on it's own with nachos and Guacamole on the side.

Happy Guy Fawkes everyone!!


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