How to make an awesome Chilli con carne

July 20, 2023

In the first of his epic series on the best thing about winter – hot chillis! – PAT PILCHER invites you to follow his easy chilli con carne recipe.

The shortest day has passed, and the good news is that we are now on our way into spring, but for now it’s still dark, cold and wet. On a particularly cold winter’s day, I love nothing more than a warming and filling plate of Chilli con carne, a dish that has many conflicting origin stories. One version is that it was first introduced to the US by the “Chilli Queens,” who were Mexican women serving food in San Antonio’s Military Plaza in the 1860s (in Mexico, it is known as carne con chilli). Another is that it was easy for cowboys to cook vegetarian versions of this dish when out on the range herding cattle. Chilli con carne gained recognition at the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago via the San Antonio Chilli Stand. Served with rice or corn chips and guac or sour cream and/or cheese, it’s delish and a doddle to cook. Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients

200g beef mince

1x onion

3x cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1x capsicum sliced & diced

1x carrot cut into small pieces

1x Zucchini cut into small pieces

1x tinned tomatoes

1x tinned black beans (or red kidney beans)

1x tblspn tomato puree

½ tspn Oregano

½ tspn thyme

1 tspn Chipotle (add more or less depending on your chilli tolerance levels)

¼ tspn cayenne (add more or less depending on your chilli tolerance levels)

¼ tspn chilli flakes (add more or less depending on your chill tolerance levels)

2 tspn smoked paprika

¼ tspn cumin powder (or better still, freshly ground cumin)

¼ tspn salt

¼ tspn raw sugar

Steps

  • Add 1-2 tblspns of olive or similar oil to a high sided pot, set heat to medium
  • Add onions/oregano and thyme, and fry until they begin to look lightly cooked
  • Add carrot pieces and cook until the carrots start to impart colour to the onions

  • Add Zucchini and capsicum and cook for 3-4 minutes, once done, turn up the heat to high.
  • add the beef mince and spice ingredients.

  • Break up the beef mince and make sure the spices are stirred through until beef mince is browned.

  • Add tomatoes.
  • Drain the beans and add to pot (this step is important as it will mean the chilli isn’t too wet)
  • Add garlic.

  • Break up tomatoes and stir in, bring to a simmer.
  • Add 1 tblspn of tomato puree.
  • Turn the heat to low and simmer, occasionally stirring for 10 – 15 minutes to concentrate flavours.
  • Serve with chopped coriander, corn chips or rice, grated cheese or sour cream, or best of all guacamole.

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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