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Chilli con carne recipe perfect for colder weather

A tasty chilli con carne recipe perfect for the colder weather that won't send you over your weekly meal budget.

Spicy cauliflower soup made by Virtual Money Tree

Learn how to cook a comforting chilli con carne

This is my husband's signature dish so I do hope you enjoy it. He's been perfecting the recipe for years and it always goes down a treat in our household. Chilli con carne is like a big hug, it's so comforting in the cold weather and a perfect winter warmer.


500g beef mince

140g pancetta

2 x tins of chopped tomatoes

1 x tin of kidney beans

Beef stock cube

0.5 bottle of ale (if cooking in summer) or stoat (if cooking in winter)

1 x large white onion, chopped thinly

4 x fresh chillies (leave seeds in for spicy or remove for mild)

3 x crushed garlic cloves

2 x small squares of at least 85% dark chocolate

1 tbsp oil

2-3 tsp cumin

1.5 tsp oregano

1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

0.5 tsp black treacle

Salt and pepper

Serve with rice

Serves: 6


1 - Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the pancetta until it has browned. Then add the onion, 2 of the fresh chillies and the oregano and leave for 5 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and mix together.

2 - Add the beef mince into the pan and break it down. At this point add the smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce so that it cooks into the meat and adds a nice smokey taste. Then cook the contents of the pan until the meat is sealed.

3 - Add the ale or stout into the pan and reduce by a third on a medium heat.

4 - Add the tinned tomatoes and the beef stock cube straight into the pan plus an extra splash of Worcestershire sauce and the black treacle.

5 - Season the contents of the pan with salt and pepper and turn down the heat to a low simmer. After a couple of minutes add the cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder (add what you feel comfortable with) and another chopped fresh chilli and cook for at least 30 minutes. Do remember to check the pan regularly and if it starts to dry out add a little water.

6 - After 30 minutes add the dark chocolate and kidney beans to the pan and leave for another 5-10 minutes and then serve with rice.

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