Chilli Con Carne

This is one of my favourite meals. I love making chilli with big hunks of slow-cooked meat, but this is my favourite version of a beef mince chilli. One great student trick is to use half the amount of meat and bulk it out with veg and beans – you will never tell the difference! This recipe makes enough for a nice meal, plus plenty leftover for delicious lunches during the week. It’s a great recipe to spend 20 minutes prepping before just leaving it to do its thing. You can’t go wrong with a chilli!


  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon of Ground Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon of Smoked Paprika (or less if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1 bunch of Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 3 cloves of Fresh Garlic
  • 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Courgette, finely chopped
  • 3 Peppers (yellow, red, orange), cut into chunks
  • 250g Beef Mince
  • 1 tin of Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 tin of Mixed Beans
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube
  • 1 tablespoon of Barbecue Sauce
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 Spring Onion, finely sliced


  1. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a frying pan on a medium/high heat and get your onion straight in the pan. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle in the cumin and paprika and fry for 5 minutes. Then throw in the chilli, garlic, peppers, coriander and courgette and fry for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the beef mince to the pan and break it up with a spoon. Turn your pan up to high. The beef will cook fairly quickly; but that’s not good enough for us foodies. We want caramelisation, and we want it now. Let the water from the beef evaporate so the beef goes into frying mode, getting crispy and golden. This will take about 6 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat back down to medium. Pour in the beans (including the juices), tomatoes and scrunch in a stock cube. Stir it all together, bring to the boil and drop the pan to a low, low heat. Cover with a lid (or some tin foil). The next part is up to you; you need to let the chilli simmer for at least 1 hour, but it will happily bubble away for as many hours as you like. Go read a book, get drunk or play with a dog and the chilli will wait for you. Just make sure that, if you leave it longer, you check back on it, give it a stir and add a little water if you need to. The longer you leave it, the better it will be – I left the one in the photo for about 4 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to serve, stir through a tablespoon of barbecue sauce to add an epic smokey flavour. I served mine with a jacket potato and spinach, but feel free to serve with rice, cous cous, or just eat it by itself. Either way it will be incredible! Finish by christening it with a little spring onion, some of your favourite cheese and perhaps some more chilli if you’re feeling naughty.

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