Chris has been making this chilli con carne recipe for 15 years. It's one of the most tried and tested recipes on the blog and its always on our recipe rotation.
The perfect blend of spices, beans and extra veggies, means you can make a pound of minced beef feed 8 people!
Check out the full recipe including step-by-step photos and a video below.
We love this belly-warming dish of meaty, spicy chilli. It's a regular on our dinner table. You can pretty much guarantee there are at least a couple of portions of it in our freezer at any one time and that we're never more than 7 days away from our next bowl.
It's a classic. Only this one is better 🙂
Today's beef chilli recipe comes from my husband Chris! Who - although he is a really great cook (thanks Chris's mum!) - usually sticks to BBQ feasts and cauldron size vats of Chilli. This chilli is his baby, and it's taken me forever to get him to write it down for me.
In the 15 years, we've been together, I think I've made chilli 5 or 6 times. It's been made clear to me that this is not my domain, and I'm only allowed in the kitchen to swoon over the pre-dinner taste-testing or to clean up.
Fair enough. I know my place. Note: that's the only time you'll hear me saying that!!! erm unless the tyre needs changing or a particularly welded jar lid needs unscrewing. That's it though. We're definitely equal in all other things!
How to Make It
Starting by cooking onions and garlic with a little oil in a large pan until softened.
Add the minced beef and cook until browned - breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Then pour in the red wine and simmer for a few minutes.
Next, add beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and a little honey.
Then chop two red bell peppers and add those in too.
Add in four tins of good-quality chopped tomatoes and stir.
Next is the spices. We have smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder (more or less depending on how hot you like it), ground ginger, salt and pepper and mixed herbs. Chris also adds in a freshly chopped red chilli at this point too.
Then add in tomato puree (paste), tomato ketchup and chipotle paste.
Bring to the boil, stir, then turn down the heat and loosely cover with a lid. Simmer for about an hour, giving it a stir every 10-15 minutes.
After an hour, add in some tinned mixed beans and kidney beans, stir, and cook for a further 20 minutes, uncovered (this is a good time to put your rice on to cook too).
Right before serving, stir in a big handful of chopped fresh coriander (cilantro).
Then serve with boiled rice. If you like you can also serve with soured cream, homemade guacamole, tortilla chips (we love the blue corn chips) and an extra sprinkling of fresh coriander and finely chopped red chillies.
I know it seems like a long list of ingredients, but most of it gets thrown in together, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard already.
Although we often serve it with rice, it's also great with pasta, on tortilla chips or jacket potatoes. I even sometimes use a portion from the freezer to make a quick, spicy lasagne.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
Love cooking Mexican food? Why not take a look at our other Mexican inspired recipes:
- Our Quick and Easy Chicken Fajitas - always a hit with the kids too
- Mexican Chicken Skewers - great on the BBQ
- Crispy Fish Tacos - a favourite of Chris and I from our trip to Morro Bay CA
- Vegetarian Loaded Tortilla Pan
- Mexican Shakshuka
- Oh and if you have a little extra time this Slow Cooked Pork and Beef Chilli is AMAZING!
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Chilli Con Carne
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil - (or olive oil)
- 2 large onions - peeled and chopped
- 6 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped/crushed
- 500 g (1.1lb) minced beef
- 360 ml (1 ½ cups) full-bodied red wine
- 180 ml (¾ cup) beef stock - hot water plus 2 stock cubes is fine
- 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 red bell peppers - chopped
- 4 x 400ml (14oz) tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp hot chilli powder
- 3 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp mixed herbs
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 chopped fresh chilli - more if you like it hotter
- 3 tbsp tomato puree/paste
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 1 tsp chipotle paste
- 2 chunks dark chocolate - 80 or 90% cocoa
- 2 x 400g (14oz) can kidney beans - drained and rinsed
- 1 x 420g (14oz) can mixed beans - drained and rinsed
- Small bunch chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Serve with (optional):
- cooked rice
- fresh coriander (cilantro)
- sour cream
- chopped fresh chillies
- Heat up the oil in a very large pan. Add the onions and cook on medium/high for about 5-6 minutes until they're soft and translucent.
- Add in the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add in the mince and cook until just browned. Break any large pieces up with a wooden spoon.
- Add in the red wine, bring it to the bubble and simmer for 3 minutes.
- In a jug, mix together the stock, Worcestershire sauce and honey. Pour it into the pan and give it a stir.
- Add in the red peppers and cook for another minute. Then stir in the tinned tomatoes.
- Add in the smoked paprika, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, ginger, mixed herbs, salt and pepper and the chopped fresh chilli pepper. Give it all a mix and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in tomato puree (paste), tomato ketchup, chipotle paste and a the dark chocolate. Stir and bring to a simmer, then loosely cover and simmer for one hour.
- After an hour, add in the kidney beans and mixed beans, Give them a stir and allow the chilli to simmer for another 20 minutes (this is also a good time to put your rice on if you're serving it with rice).
- Finally stir in the chopped coriander just before serving.
- Serve with rice, coriander, soured cream, chopped fresh chillies if you like.
Can I make it gluten free?Yes, use gluten-free beef stock and Worcestershire sauce. Also make sure the tomato puree, ketchup, chipotle paste and dark chocolate are gluten-free versions.
Can I make it ahead?Yes, we think it tastes even better when made ahead and reheated - as it allows the flavours to develop even further. Once cooked, cool quickly, cover and refrigerate for up to two days. Reheat in a pan or the microwave until piping hot throughout.
Can I freeze it?Yes. Once cooked, cool, then split into portions if necessary, cover and freeze. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a pan or the microwave until piping hot throughout.
Can I make it in the slow cooker?Yes. We find it needs a little less liquid in the slow cooker, so reduce the stock to about 90 ml (⅓ cup). Cook in a pan right up until the simmer stage (right after you add the tomato puree and ketchup) then transfer to a slow cooker and cook for 6-7 hours on low or 5-6 hours on high. Add the beans, then continue to cook for a further 30 minutes to heat them through. Then stir in the coriander (cilantro) and serve.
Can I make an alcohol-free version?Yes, simply replace the wine with the same amount of beef stock. . Nutritional Information Is Estimated Per Serving, excluding any rice or other serving suggestions.
This post was first published in October 2014. Updated January 2019 with new photos, step-by-step photos, tips and a recipe video. Updated June 2020 with extra tips and for housekeeping.
Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links – which means if you buy the product I get a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you do buy, then thank you! That’s what helps us to keep Kitchen Sanctuary running. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary depending on several factors. For more information please see our Terms & Conditions.