Saturday 20 December 2014

Chili Con Carne...when in Rome!!

Chili Con CarneThe British Chili Con Carne is exactly like the British Chicken Tikka Masalaif done right – delicious! But if you have eaten the original stuff you end up confusedvery, very confused!!  Thanks to my erstwhile job, have had the good fortune of gorging on both the TexMex and the Texan Chili plenty of times (and have a couple of mean recipes for both) so I was all curious to try the British versionand did so within a couple of weeks of landing in Londondecided that neither the chili nor the chicken tikka masala was for us (not enough depth, overly sweet and not cooked enough)until I decided to give it a try up on a whole lot of different recipes and the one below is a mish-mash of all thathave made it a few times now and the man always complains that I don’t make enoughso I guess it is worth sharing as well J (more on that Chicken Tikka Masala in another post) 

British Chili Con Carne mmskitchenbites

Chili Con Carne


  • Beef Mince, 500 gms
  • Onion, chopped, 2 medium large
  • Garlic cloves, finely chopped, 2-3
  • Cumin powder, 2 tsp
  • Coriander powder, 2 tsp
  • Fresh Red chili, finely chopped, 1-2 or to taste
  • Cayenne Pepper or Red chili powder, 1 tsp
  • Paprika or Kashmiri red chili powder, 2 tsp
  • All spice, ½ tsp
  • Bayleaf, 1
  • Red Kidney Beans, canned 400 gms, drained and rinsed  or about  1 ½ cups of boiled/cooked kidney beans ( ½ cup dried kidney beans will result in approximately  1 ½ cups of cooked kidney beans)
  • Chopped Tomatoes, canned 400 gms, or 5-6 tomatoes chopped with their juices or 2 cups of chopped tomatoes with their juices
  • Tomato paste, 2 tbsp or 4-6 tbsp of packaged tomato puree (1 tbsp of tomato paste = 2-3 tbsp of packaged tomato puree, start with less and then add more as required)
  • Beef stock, 400 ml (made with 1 beef stock cube mixed with hot water)  plus more stock or hot water if needed
  • Sugar, 1 tsp
  • Balsamic Vinegar, 1 tbsp
  • Dark bitter chocolate, grated or chopped, 1 small piece
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp

To serve:

  • Steamed Rice or Crusty bread
  • Sour cream (recipe here)
  • Coriander leaves
  • Lime  wedges


Heat the oil in deep heavy bottom pan on medium heat.  Add in the chopped onions and fry till onions go soft.

Add in the red chili, garlic, cumin powder, coriander powder, cayenne pepper, paprika and all spice. Stir and fry on low heat for 4-5 minutes – stir continuously and don’t let the spices burn.

Increase the heat to high and tip in the mince. Stir and keep breaking up the mince till it is well browned.

Add in the bayleaf, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, pepper, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir and mix well and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add in the stock and let the mix come to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pan and leave to simmer for about 40- 45 minutes. Stir intermittently to ensure the meat doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. After simmering the sauce should look thick and moist.

Add in the kidney beans, chocolate and let the sauce simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes or so.

Adjust consistency – simmer uncovered if too saucy to your liking, add more stock/water if too thick.

Let the chili rest for at least an hour before serving to let the flavours develop (I keep mine in the fridge overnight and reheat to serve the next day. I keep it a little saucy when cooking and adjust consistency the next day on heating while serving)

Chili Con Carne with Sour Cream mmskitchenbites

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