Try our best chilli con carne recipe or check out our twists on the original chilli here.
What is the origin of chilli con carne?
Chilli con carne is originally a southern Texas dish that has been adopted and adapted quite heavily. It’s essentially a stew of meat and spices, served with or without beans depending on which recipe you use.
What are the traditional chilli con carne ingredients?
Variations on the recipe are as huge as the country it’s from. Beef is most commonly the meat used (either minced or in chunks) but pork is also a popular ingredient as well as sausage and chorizo. Kidney beans are probably the most familiar bean but black beans, turtle beans and pinto beans all work brilliantly too.
Which chillies do you use in chilli con carne?
You can get quite creative with spices in a chilli. A regular jar of chilli powder is usually a mix of cayenne, cumin, oregano and garlic, all of which are traditionally featured. You can also add cinnamon for extra warmth, smoked paprika and explore more traditional Mexican chillies which are now more readily available such as smoky chipotle and fruity ancho chilli.
Can you put chocolate in chilli con carne?
There are a couple of surprising ingredients which can add depth to your chilli. A square of dark chocolate (70% or over) added at the end will add a sweet richness to the finished dish and many recipes add a little black coffee. Neither of these ingredients will be obvious in the finished recipe so don’t worry about them overpowering.
How do you make chilli con carne?
The secret to the best chilli is building layers and layers of flavour and long-slow cooking to let all of those flavours meld and develop. For that reason, it’s a perfect dish to cook in a slow cooker. Try our slow-cooker chilli here.
Twists on chilli con carne
- Swap kidney beans for black beans (tinned or dried and cooked).
- Make your chilli chunky by using hand-cut beef: buy a piece of chuck or braising steak and cut it into pea-sized pieces (or bigger if you like it really chunky).
- Bump it up with more vegetables if you want it to go further – add more peppers, courgettes and cherry tomatoes.
Chilli con carne recipe