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MegaChef Chilli Con Carne

MegaChef Chilli Con Carne is exactly what is says on the tin, except this doesn’t come from a tin…

MegaChef Chilli Con Carne is exactly what is says on the tin, except this doesn’t come from a tin, well apart from the chopped tomatoes and kidney beans…

I have followed many similar but differing chilli recipes over the years and this is what I have come up with. As with all of my recipes, I have cooked this dish many times and with each attempt, refined and tweaked the recipe for the better. This is the last version I made and it was glorious.

  • 1kg of lean minced beef
  • 2 large onions peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2.5cm/1 inch piece of root ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 good size garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 decent size (8cm+) red chillis (deseeded) and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper (deseeded) and chopped
  • 1 green pepper (deseeded) and chopped
  • 2 tins (400ml) of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin (400ml) of red kidney beans
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder (or 1 cinnamon stick)
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • ½ pint of water
  • Salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 20 grinds of black pepper
  • 250ml of sour cream
  • 2 good handfuls of freshly chopped coriander (always wash it first)

The Rice

  • 1 tablespoon of sunflower Oil
  • 400ml of Basmati Rice
  • 800ml of boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • A clean tea-towel

So Here's What To Do

Heat the oil in a large heavy pan with a lid. Add the onions and soften for about 4 minutes. Then add the minced beef and brown nicely for another 4 minutes.

Now add the paprika, cumin, chilli powder, cinnamon, chillis, ginger, garlic, green and red peppers and stir for another 3 minutes or so.

Now throw in the tinned tomatoes and tomato puree, salt and pepper, brown sugar and the water. Give it a big stir and cover and simmer for at least 40 minutes. Keep having a look and if dries out too much, add a little more water but it should be fine.

Now add the kidney beans for another 30 minutes and stir occasionally. This is also the perfect time to make your perfect rice, so heat a tablespoon of sunflower oil in a good size pan, nice at hot. Add the rice and stir in the oil. Then add the boiling water (it should make a fun noise if your pan is hot enough), add the salt, stir in, cover and lower the heat to simmer-mode for 15 minutes – do NOT remove the lid or stir in this time. After 15 miuntes, remove from the hob, remove the lid, don’t stir it or anything and cover with the tea-towel for 10 minutes. Stir and serve!

Best served with: 

I tend to lean towards a Chianti, Montalcino, Barolo or Montepulciano with my chilli, so thumbs up to classic Italian reds with this classic Mexican dish. IMO, try to keep the alcohol content no-more that 13% (13.5% tops), which is my theory with most wine. If you think stronger wine is better then you are a drunk or just misguided, as it usually means it is cheaper wine and over-cooked in an inappropriate climate.


Serve with a nicely dressed (see nice dressing) tossed green salad, the pot of sour cream and some MegaGuacamole and Nachos (see MegaGuacamole and Nachos).

PS. Timers are excellent. Have at least two for all cooking!!!

Cooking time: 
Takes about an hour or even longer if you prefer
Preparation time: 
Do it as you go