Chilli con Carne


2 medium onions

1 garlic clove

olive oil

2 tsp chilli powder

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin (or crushed cumin seeds)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

450g/1lb chuck steak, minced or best minced beef

200g/7oz sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes

½ stick cinnamon

2 x 400g cans red kidney beans, drained


1. To cook this I use a metal pan or casserole with a lid, which you can

use on the hob and in the oven. If you are going to use the oven method

then preheat the oven to 150C/ 300F/Gas 2.

2. Blitz the onions and garlic in the food processor until finely

chopped, then fry in a little olive oil until softened. Add the chilli

powder, fresh chilli, cumin and a little seasoning. Then add the minced

chuck steak or beef and continue to cook, stirring, until it has browned.

3. Blitz the sun-dried tomatoes in the food processor with enough oil

from the jar to loosen into a paste. Add these to the beef with the

tomatoes, cinnamon stick and a wine glass of water. Season a little more

if need be.

4. Bring to the boil, cover with greaseproof paper and the lid, then

either turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours or transfer

the pan to the oven for about 1 ½ hours. Add the tinned kidney beans 30

minutes before the end of the cooking time – they are already cooked and

only need warming up.

5. This always tastes better if you cook it the day before (to give the

flavours time to develop), so its really handy if you’ve got friends

coming round and don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen. Just take it out

of the fridge and warm it up – serve with lots of fresh crusty bread, a

nice tossed salad, and a big blob of natural yoghurt or guacamole


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