Chilli Con Carne is a classic dish but over time, different variations have surfaced. I think it’s great that people try to be creative.  There really is no right or wrong in cooking so long as you enjoy eating what you’ve cooked. Normally, chilli con Carne is cooked with kidney beans but personally, I like a softer been and what could be better than baked beans? So I opted to write this recipe with baked beans.

For me, the chocolate at the end of cooking is important.  I have made Chilli Con Carne with and without chocolate and clearly, the version with chocolate made a difference. Serve your Chilli Con Carne with cooked basmati rice or cous cous. Chopped onion and garlic.


Ingredients for 3 persons
  • 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp butter
  • Half of one big onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 pips garlic, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into squares (about ½ inch x ½ inch)
  • 6 or 7 fresh button mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 300-gram minced beef
  • 1 can of baked beans (about 200 grams)
  • About a pea-size of crushed stock cube – to enhance the flavour of the dish
  • 1  can of chopped tomato, about 440 gram
  • 2 tbsp of tomato paste
  • 1 or 2 red chillies, thinly sliced (if you like a hotter meal, then add more chilli to taste)
  • ½  Tsp ground cumin
  • ½  Tsp ground coriander
  • ½ Tsp oregano
  • 1-inch stick of cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • about 20 gm dark chocolate

Always measure and get all ingredients ready before cooking.

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a wok or a deep pan. Fry the onion and garlic until softened (but not browned).
  2. Lower heat. Add cumin, coriander, oregano, cinnamon and chilli. Quick sauté (about 15 to 20 seconds). Your pan will smell good now.
  3. Add the mince meat, turn the heat up and cook quickly until cooked and breaking down any chunks of meat with a wooden spoon. Then add salt, the mushrooms and bell pepper.
  4. Add the can of chopped tomatoes, stirring frequently.
  5. Crush the stock cube in and boil for 2-3 minutes. Do not put the lid on.
  6. Season well with salt and pepper.
  7. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook over a gentle heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the beans.  Lastly, add tomato paste and stir.
  9. Cook for a further 5 minutes, uncovered, before removing from the heat, adding any extra seasoning if necessary.
  10. While the stew is still warm, drop the chocolate in to dissolve.  The chocolate is to enhance the flavour, do not overpower the dish with more chocolate than you need!! We are not making a chocolate sauce.
  11.  Serving method – rice or cous cous spooned onto the plate first then pile the chilli con carne on top.
  12. Garnish with chopped parsley.

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