DIY Nosh, Hot 'n' Fruity Chilli Con Carne

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This recipe takes a classic Chilli Con Carne, and adds some fruitiness and zing! As described here its aimed at the hot spice lover, but feel free to adjust to taste. This should do a generous meal for 6 to 8 people.


  • 2 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 2 red onions
  • 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1 tspn fresh ground black peper
  • Chillies: 6 x Jalapeno, 4 x Medium red or green chillies, 8 x Birdseye chillies
  • 800g lean beef mince
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • 2 tbsp. Worcester sauce
  • 2 tins red kidney beans in water – drained and rinsed
  • 2 Ramiro sweet pointy peppers
  • 3 Bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 60g tomato puree
  • 2 – 5 tbsp. tomato ketchup.



  • 1 large pan (cast iron casserole pan is ideal).
  • Preparation time 20 mins.
  • Cooking time approx. 50 mins


  • Place pan on hob at medium heat, add olive oil.
  • Peel and finely chop onions, add to pan with salt and pepper.
  • Finely chop chillies, and add to pan, stir occasionally.
  • Now prepare the peppers, remove stems, seeds and pith, and chop coarsely.
  • Now turn up the heat to high, and add the mince to the pan. Stir as it starts to brown
  • Sprinkle in stock cubes.
  • Once meat is browned all over, add Worcester sauce.
  • Add kidney beans and stir.
  • Add peppers, and stir in.  
  • Now add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree, and stir in. You should now have a pan full of vibrant colours and textures.
  • Reduce heat to medium, cover pan, and cook for 30 mins.
  • After initial cooking, remove cover, stir and taste.
  • Add tomato ketchup to taste to boost the tanginess, and add a little sweetness.
  • Cook on low to medium heat for a further 10 to 20 mins – allowing moisture content to reduce and sauce to thicken a little.  

Chilli is now ready to serve.

Method in pictures (click for larger version)


Serve with rice, or in warmed soft tortilla wraps, with crisp lettuce, grated cheese, and soured cream. Add a few cherry tomatoes, perhaps guacamole if that is your thing.  


As described, this will make a fairly spicy chilli that should have a blended heat – with plenty of initial bite, but also a lingering after burn to finish.  For a milder version halve the chilli count, or omit the hotter chillies. For a proper “weapons grade” chilli, up the hot chillies to 25 or so! Also works well with (half the number) of Scotch Bonnet chillies in place of the Birdseye.

Leftovers can be kept for several days in the fridge, and reheated in the microwave, making a great addition to a jacket potato, or a plate of Basmati or Pilau rice.