Chilli con carne


After enjoying a good bowl of chilli con carne at Liquid Yarraville, I resolve to make some myself.

I may have done so some time in the faded past, but if so I cannot recall.

My only Mexican recipe book has no recipe for same, but that’s no surprise as it’s not exactly a top-shelf publication, if you get my drift.

As well, I suspect there’s very little Mexican about chilli con carne in terms of how most of us think of it – it’s more like your south-west US thing.

This recipe is the result of scanning a half-dozen or so versions found in Louisiana community cookbooks River Road Recipes and Talk About Good!

For such an easy, “knock together” recipe, the result is surprisingly, gratifyingly delicious and deep of flavour.

I reckon I can do better, though, in terms of tweaking the seasoning, and I know Bennie’ll love it.

We hardly ever use mince in our joint, but that could change …

Maybe a little less sugar, more chilli and some oregano? Maybe more cumin, roasted and ground?

Smoked paprika?

Any tips?

(I used red capsicum instead of green, because I had a good one in the fridge; and I used red onion because of ditto …)


olive or other oil

1 can red beans

1 can tomato puree

1/2 red capsicum, chopped

1 onion, chopped

450g minced beef

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon chill powder

3 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 cup water


1. Heat oil over medium-high heat.

2. When hot, cook meat, capsicum and onion for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

3. Add seasonings and tomato puree.

4. Cook over medium heart for about 10 minutes.

5. Add drained beans and cook on Very Low Heat for at least an hour and a half.

7 thoughts on “Chilli con carne

  1. I’ve been making chilli con carne as a favourite for 20 years: lovely comfort food. I’ve got a great old recipe book called Country Cooking: Regional and Traditional Recipes from Europe and North America, that has this to say about chilli con carne: “The New York Times once said that if anything is more typically American than apple pie, it is chilli con carne. As the name implies, this dish of Texan origin is composed of chilli with meat although beans or rice are popular accompaniments.”
    I’ve never put worcestershire sauce in mine. Sometimes I add some aromatic bitters though. The recipe in that book calls for 350ml beer and 2 dashes of Tabasco and 1tsp or oregano, in addition to your other ingredients. It also calls for the beef to be cubed rather than minced, which I’ve found is the norm in the US. I prefer it minced though.
    I like to serve it on a bed of rice, with sour cream, a slice of lime and Parmesan or Mexican cheese on top. It sounds odd, but I often serve with a side dish of sugar snap peas that have been dunked in boiling water for 60 seconds, and some diced fresh tomatoes.


  2. tried & true! 500 gms minced beef, 1 chopped onion, 1 diced green pepper, 1 clove garlic, chopped. fry off in a little oil . Add 1 can tomatoes [or 2 fresh, chopped], 1 T cumin, s&p,1 T tom.paste, 1 T oregano, chile powder to taste [1/2 t +], 1 cup water. simmer 1/2 hour. Add 1 can kidney beans & simmer another 1/2 hour.
    serve with mex. cheese [or cheddar], rice, sour cream & corn chips. yum.


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