Chili con carne

My buddy Silvio asked me if I had a chili recipe. It’s so obvious, it’s not the kind of thing I would usually put on here and I make it so much, I have added this recipe from memory. The cumin and the cinnamon are what makes it and I often add more of these spices at the end, just to make sure they really come through, but there’s not much subtlety to my cooking, it’s a bit like being hit with a flavor sledgehammer, so sorry ‘bout it! This recipe requires my usual couple of hours cooking time to let the tomatoes really stew down and the flavors develop beautifully, and as with all ground beef recipes, it freezes really well. If you want to freshen it up a bit on reheating, defrost, then add another small tin of tomatoes and some tomato paste and cook for 20 mins… lovely… I served this at a New Year’s Eve party once, with bowls, spoons and crusty baguettes. It didn’t stop people getting merry, but it slowed down the process…


2 lbs ground beef (lean as you can get it)
2 x 800g tinned tomatoes
2 tablespoons
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
2 X 400g kidney beans
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Chilis, to taste (I use pre-prepared chili in a tube, 2 teaspoons or two chilis)
Ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot, fry onions in a little olive oil until translucent and browning on the edges.
  2. Add the beef and fry, stirring frequently, until browned all over (drain excess fat if necessary at this point).
  3. Move to the edges of the pan and add the cumin and cinnamon, stirring all the while.
  4. Add the tomato paste and stir until the fragrance hits you, which means it is cooking through, then stir the rest of the meat back through to the center, coating in all the spices and flavor.
  5. Add pepper and two tins of tomatoes and bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer.
  6. Simmer for 90 mins, stirring about once every 10 mins, so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the kidney beans and cook for another 10-20 mins.
  8. Serve with a baguette, or rice, or over a baked potato, or loaded with cheese, or however you like your chili!

One thought on “Chili con carne

  1. Good evening
    What follows may sound/read like it’s inspired from the trollouisie, but I do swear it’s not… my criticism of all up-page is purely to illuminate, and not to repugnate….
    1. You HAVE TO brown your meat on its own, half-meat-to-surface-area, and get it GOOD and golden;
    2. The onion frying stage just HAS to include (per 1kg stewing beef) cumin seed x2tbsp, cayenne pepper x1 tsp, smoked Paprika x1tbsp, and brown muscovado sugar x2tbsp
    3. After 20mims slow heat, knock yourself out..put the kitchen sink into that bad boy… Espresso (1 dbl), red wine, ale, stock… Keep her lit for 6-8 hours min, THEN add your kidney beans, (by the way I usually flambeé the browned beef in a pan with cognac :), and give it half an hour then submit to the Chilli King with some good guacamole and Nat yoghurt / creme fraiche..
    Oh, and a btl of Big Wave Golden Ale…

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