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Chilli Con Carne

Chilli con carne Whoopee-ti-yea, Whoopee-kea-yea how many of you out there have watched good old western movies and seen cowboys sitting around the fire enjoying a tin plate full of Chilli and chunks of cornbread and saying, boy that looks so delicious.

Greetings to all fellow home chefs here on the East Coast of Africa and around this beautiful world we live in. 

Today we are going to share our yummy Chilli recipe with you. Sounds great hey.

I have been making this dish for years using various ground meats, ingredients and spices and what I love about this recipe is it is so easy to make, low on the budget strings and will send your taste buds to another level.

Prep time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  25 minutes

Serves: 6 to 8 cowboys ha ha

Ingredients for Chilli Con Carne

Okey Dokey you will need the following ingredients:     

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil.
  • 500g lean minced beef.
  • 410g can red kidney beans (can use baked beans in tomato sauce)
  • 1 large onion.
  • 1 red pepper sliced and chopped.
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin.                                                  
  • 1 tsp. paprika.
  • 3 Tbsp. Brown or white vinegar.
  • Salt and Black pepper to taste.
  • 2 Tbsp Mrs Ball Chutney (smooth apricot jam).
  • Optional 2 birds eye chillies, piped, remove deveined  and diced.
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped.
  • 1 beef stock cube..
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes.
  • 2 tbsp. tomato purée.
  • 3Tpsp Worchester sauce.
  • Optional for those that enjoy hot stuff (1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder) 
  • long grain rice, 
  • soured cream, to serve.


Still with me?   Great!!

Hey cookie we starving, cut out the chatter and start cooking we've had a hard, tiring day herding and branding cattle. Guess we better get started, don't want to upset the boys.

  • Place a medium to large frying pan size on the hob
  • Turn heat up to medium. 
  • Add the oil and heat for about 1 minute.
  • Add the onions, stirring until the onions are soft, and translucent.
  • Add garlic, red pepper, paprika, ground cumin, birds eye chillies, .
  • Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook until you get the beautiful aroma from the spices.
  • Add the meat to the pan
  •  Keep stirring and prodding and breaking the mince until all the mince is in uniform size  and there are no more pink bits.
  • Make sure you keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

Making the sauce.

  • Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 250ml hot water.
  • Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture and stir.
  • Add chopped tomatoes.
  • Add Worchester sauce, vinegar, chutney, tomato purée.
  • Bring to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan.
  • Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 - 30 minutes
  • Check on the pan occasionally to stir it making sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out,.
  • If it is, add ½ cup water.
  •  Simmer gently.
  • The saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.
  • Bring on the beans.
  • Drain and rinse 1 can of red kidney beans (if using Baked beans in tomato sauce do not rinse, empty all into the mince) stir them into the  pot
  • Bring to med heat, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.
  • Taste a bit of the chilli and season. According to one's taste. 
  • It will probably take a little more seasoning. 
  • Now replace the lid, turn off the heat and leave your chilli to stand for 10 to 20 minutes  before serving.

    Great stuff Partner, you have just completed a great Chilli Con Carne. Time now to get out the ole tin plate and spoon plus a bottle of your favourite drink, pull up a log and sit around a log fire enjoying your chilli and chunk of corn bread just like the old cow hands did and still do today, YUMMY.

     Whoopee-ti-yea Whoopee-kea- yea get along little doggies get along.

Please take a moment while your food is cooking and read below some interesting facts behind Chilli con carne history:
"Some of the claims to chilli con carne invention fame come from Texas. There is a long history of chilli con carne in Texas, dating back to the mid 1800’s. You know all those pictures and movies of cowboys eating by the fire at night. Chances are, if they were in Texas USA, they were munching some delicious chilli con carne"
"There are also different claims to inventing chilli con carne from Mexico. In fact, it seems very likely Mexico invented chilli con carne. So, there isn’t an official person who invented chilli con carne, but we can say that the chance is big that it’s invented in Texas or in Mexico.

"Chilli con carne is the official dish of the U.S. state of Texas as designated by the House Concurrent Resolution Number 18 of the 65th Texas Legislature during its regular session in 1977"
"Before World War Two, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors (also known as "chili joints") could be found throughout Texas and other states, particularly those in which émigré Texans had made new homes. Each establishment usually had a claim to some kind of secret recipe."

Okay enough of the history on Chili con Carne. Let’s continue cooking


Below are a few ideas you can use for plating 

    Become a old Texas cowboy  eat out of a tin plate with spoon and a chunk of  fresh corn bread (I love this way)check out the easy  recipe below on corn bread.
  • White brown or white bread. 
  • A dollop of sour cream.
  • Any pasta dish.
  • Pizza topping.
  • Great way to start your day Fried egg on toast topped with chilli con carne for breakfast.
  • Use as a casserole with creamy mash potatoes and cheddar cheese baked in your oven(Banting Dieters can use Cauliflower mash)
  • Pita bread filling.
  • Filling for Pan Cakes.
  • With Mielie pap. 
  • With Putu (An African dish made from mielie meal)
  • Filling for home made pastry pies.
  •  White or brown rice.
  • Corn bread (see recipe below for this)
  • And my personal favorite..... bean salad

     From the few examples above, one can go on and on ,we leave it to your imagination.  I'm sure you will come up with more great ways of eating this mouth-watering dish. We would love to hear from you .

Cornbread Recipe

Prep Time: 5 min.                   Baking Time: 25 min.                  Serves: 9 cowboys (he he)         


  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 egg.
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil.
  • 1 cup milk 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F/220°c.
  • Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder in a med size mixing bowl 
  • In a smaller bowl, combine egg, vegetable oil and milk.
  • Add to dry ingredients and combine.
  • Pour batter into bread baking pan.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  • Insert a toothpick into cornbread If the toothpick comes out clean, the cornbread is fully baked.
  • If still a bit sticky leave in oven for a further 5 minutes 

    Whoopee-ti-yea  Whoopee-kea- yea get along little doggies get along