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Chilli Con Carne


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if burgers are worthy of hundreds of pages of chat then surely a good chilli is too, especially as its a recipe that seems steeped in mystery ingredients (chocolate, cinnamon etc) and arguments about cooking times and whether or not its better the next day.

for starters I'm making this today, as love this gran luchito smoked paste


will report back on the cornbread and main later

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I recommend this recipe.

1.5 kg brisket

2 teaspoons:

cumin seeds



Half teaspoon ground cinnamon????

Generously salt all over beef


Rub beef with spice mix slit the beef

Put the rest of the loose herbs in the pan

2ml oil in pan

fry it on all sides

take beef out of pan

chop two red onions finely c shaped????

Scotch bonnets 6-10

Few garlic cloves

Sweat it down

Ad 3 teaspoon brown sugar

Two tins tomatoes

2 red two yellow peppers

Stick it all in and cook

Add beef oxo cube

Juice of lime

Bottle sam adams

Cover with water

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report is in - the chilli recipe above is tasty but not exceptional, it carries warmth rather than heat. will have no problem finishing off during the week (it may improve in fridge overnight, they often do)

cornbread is again tasty (not exceptional) and bit dense, but in my experience a lot of cornbread is. may try a true southern recipe next time with buttermilk and fine cornmeal, rather than grainy polenta.

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500g decent mince

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp hot curry powder

6 mixed fresh chillies chopped

2 tins chopped tomatoes

2 tins kidney beans

1 jar sundried tomatoes chopped

3 gloves off garlic chopped

2 medium onions chopped

Fry mince, onions n garlic until mince is cooked. Add chillies, tomatoes, spices n a glass of water and simmer for an hour. Chuck in kidney beans n simmer for 30 mins. Stick in fridge overnight and serve next day with sour cream, guac, rice and nachos.

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Chunks of reasonably decent beef plus a bloody good slug of beer are definitely the way to go. Plus 1-2 fucktons of scotch bonnet or finger chillies naturally. Cook for at least 2 hours but preferably longer (this also helps to tame the heat to a level where you can usually see again by the next morning).

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Myself and an old flatmate once won a chilli cook-off when working in the States. We threw as much heat as we could into it (entered the 'Five Alarm Plus' section), including wasabe. An unremarkable story until a chilli afficionado called Dirk Howe III was able to tell us in five teaspoonfuls exactly what we had put in it, including on his last spoonful "Is that horseradish ?". We were most impressed.

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Mine is fairly complicated and a lot of it is by feel. No tomatoes required as the chilli base means it doesn't need them.


2 x Ancho chillies, deseeded

2 x Pastilla chillies, deseeded

2 x Cascabel chillies,deseeded

2 x Chiplotle chillies

2 x Arbol chillies, deseeded

Garlic x loads

200ml beef stock

Rehydrate chillies in the 200ml of beef stock, add garlic and then blend.

Meaty vegy bit:

Dry fry a tablespoon full each of cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Once fragrant then pestle and mortar the shit out of them.

Brown 500-750g of a decent cut of beef. I usually use skirt, or silverside, or brisket. Sometimes a mixture of these.

Add a whole onion and cook until it's browned.

Add the ground cumin seeds and coriander seeds.

Add the base chilli blend prepared earlier

2 tablespoons of smoked paprika

2 tablespoons of cumin

2 tablespoons of ground coriander

2 tablespoons of oregano

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 splash of sherry vinegar

1 splash of lemon juice

1 teaspoon of coffee

2 teaspoons of brown sugar

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

2 bay leaves

A splash of fish sauce

A splash of soy sauce

Red wine (glass of) or a dark beer. Depends how I feel.

A splash of Worcester sauce

Add a chopped up sweet red pepper

Add a can of mixed beans

Add water to cover, and then simmer for two to three hours. Adjusting heat as necessary with habanero powder.

Once it's reduced and the meat is tender, add roughly chopped coriander.

It's fucking lovely.

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I made this veggie chilli con carne on Friday and it was great. It made a huge batch and works out really cheaply. I used smoked chipotle chillis instead of a fresh red chilli.


  • 2 medium onions , peeled
  • 4 cloves of garlic , peeled
  • 1 medium leek , trimmed
  • 1 long fresh red chilli
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • ½ cinnamon stick , or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 250 g dried green lentils
  • 250 g dried red lentils
  • 2 x 400 g tins of red kidney beans , drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400 g tins of black beans , drained and rinsed
  • 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2 litres organic vegetable stock
  • sea salt
  • black pepper , freshly ground
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Are we all agreed that whatever the recipe,it always tastes better the next day - I've just warmed up some of yesterday's and it's so much better, much more depth of flavour and just tastier.

I'm beginning to think it should never be eaten on the day (maybe it's different after a very long cook ?)

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Agreed. I find that with most things cooked in sauces, curries etc. It also tastes better warm rather than hot. I always make the mistake in my hunger of eating things straight out of the pan or oven, and it's usually way better leaving it 5-10 mins

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I have to back the mince (decent quality obviously...) over other cuts of meat in a chili. Don't get me wrong, I've tried plenty and they are nice. But mince is king.

I like a bit of cinnamon, chocolate is OK, coffee - meh.

Also, thoughts on pressure cooking a chili? I find it works rather well...

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