Chilli Con Carne

The recipe comes from Jo’ Pratt (Nation’s Favourite Food) and the original source can be found on the BBC Website. We’ve added it to our site because it’s very good and we don’t want to lose it!


  • Serves 6-8
  • Preparation time less than 30 mins
  • Cooking time 1 to 2 hours
  • Best prepared 1 or 2 days in advance


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg/2¼lb lean minced beef
  • 2 glasses red wine
  • 2x400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 red chillies, thinly sliced, or 3-4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • good shake of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2x400g can red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 large bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • wedges of lime, to serve


  • Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan and fry the onion and garlic until softened. Increase the heat and add the mince, cooking quickly until browned and breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon. Pour in the red wine and boil for 2-3 minutes. While waiting, pour a glass for yourself.
  • Stir in the tinned tomatoes, tomato purée, fresh chilli or chilli flakes, cumin, ground coriander, cinnamon, and Worcestershire sauce and crumble in the stock cube. Season well with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 50 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally until the mixture is rich and thickened.
  • Add the kidney beans and fresh coriander. Cook for a further 10 minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary.

This is ideal served with lime wedges, crusty bread or jacket potatoes, guacamole, sour cream and a big green salad.

The chilli is uncomparably better a day or two after it’s cooked as the flavours develop and the texture becomes richer. Let it cool, stick in the fridge and gently heat on the day you are serving it.