Andy's smoky chilli con carne

    1 hour 50 min

    A great meal for the family and good enough to serve at a dinner party. A good value healthy smoky chilli con carne recipe, perfect with boiled rice, or chips and salad. This recipe is for a large family (serves 6) - so scale down to suit. The smoky flavour really adds to the chilli, with lots of beans thrown in for the 'healthy eating' factor.

    35 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • oil, as needed for cooking
    • 3 onions, chopped
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 3 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried coriander
    • 1 to 2 dried smoked chipotle chillies
    • 650g lean beef steak mince
    • 1 small glass red wine
    • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
    • 1 beef stock cube
    • 250ml water
    • 2 (400g) tins kidney beans, drained
    • 1 (400g) tin borlotti beans, drained
    • tomato ketchup, to taste
    • smoky BBQ sauce, to taste
    • 1 lemon or lime
    • 1 chopped fresh red chilli, optional
    • grated cheese, to serve
    • soured cream, to serve

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:1hr50min 

    1. Place the dried chipotle chillies in a cup for boiling water. Set aside for 20 minutes to rehydrate. Remove from the water, reserve the water, and finely chop.
    2. Warm a little oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and cook and stir for 4 to 6 minutes until soft. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and sugar and stir for a few more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cumin while hot and stir for a minute. Add the paprika, oregano, garlic, coriander and stir again. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
    3. In the same saucepan, fry the mince on a high heat until browned, remove any fat if you want this to be really healthy. If using red wine, add the wine and cook until the wine reduces until it is all gone.
    4. Add the onions and spices back into the pan with the mince and stir fry for a few minutes. Turn down the heat and add the tomatoes and tomato puree. Dissolve the stock cube in the water then add to the pan. Add the chopped chipotle chillies along with the reserved water Ensure the meat is fully submersed by adding extra hot water if necessary.
    5. Add the beans to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer on a low heat for a minimum of 1 hour (the aim is to reduce the mixture until it's thick and not too runny). Add seasoning to taste, a squeeze of tomato ketchup and a squeeze of BBQ ketchup to give it a little smoky boost. Cut lemon or lime in half and squeeze into the pan and mix.
    6. Prior to serving, do a taste test and add more heat if you want, I tend to use fresh chopped chilli sprinkled on my plate as I like it hotter than others. Serve with Cheddar cheese sprinkled on top and soured cream to balance.


    Works really well with a nice salad, and some crusty bread. Can be frozen, and always tastes better the longer you can cook it for. Great to eat the next day as leftovers.

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (6)


    I’ve made this a few times now, always without the dried chilli and adding different chillis to mix it up. The base sauce is great. I made my own barbecue sauce to reduce the sugar in the recipe.  -  30 Dec 2017


    Made a few personal adjustments for taste, but easily one of the best chillis I've ever had  -  24 Jun 2017


    Possibly one of the best chilli recipes I have made - spicy but not too hot with a nice smoky BBQ taste. Slightly tweaked the recipe by adding coca nib and cinnamon.. Otherwise a brill recipe - going to scale it up and make it for a ladies luncheon night..  -  12 Apr 2015