Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Chilli Con Carne is a dish of Mexican origins with as many variations as there are people who cook it.

The words themselves are Spanish and mean simply ‘Chilli with Meat’. Adopted and Americanized by Texans as true cowboy food, cooked and eaten on the trail, Chilli Con Carne is terrific camping food.

The combination of ingredients in this recipe leans towards the Mexican style of chilli rather than the Texan version, cooked with beans and flavoured with cumin it’s simply delicious by a camp fire accompanied by a bowl of rice and a salad.

Chilli Con Carne
Recipe (serves 4)

2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or bacon lard.

500g lean minced Beef

1 Teaspoon of whole Cumin Seeds

1 large brown Onion, finely chopped.

2 large cloves of Garlic finely minced.

2 -3 Red Chillies finely sliced into rings. (remove seeds for milder taste)

2 cups or 400g tin peeled chopped Tomatoes.

1 400g tin of Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed.

½ Teaspoon of coarsely ground Pepper

A good pinch of Salt


In a heavy based saucepan heat the olive oil to medium high.

Add the cumin seeds and cook 30 seconds until they ‘pop’.

Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds – do not allow to brown.

Add onion and stir until it starts to turn translucent and pick up a little colour.

Next brown minced meat a tablespoon at a time, breaking it up and stirring. Once each portion of mince is crumbled and browned, add the next.

Stir in the chillies and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir.

Add the Red Kidney Beans, the salt and 1 cup of water.

Cook for 1 hour stirring occasionally making sure not to crush the beans.

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