Chili con carne


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Feeds


Appears in

Old Food

Old Food

By Jill Dupleix

Published 1998

  • About

This is one of those fast versions of the original that has grown to be a tradition in its own right. I have completely ignored all claims that these sorts of dishes don’t have beans in them, because I like beans in them. I also have no idea if it should be spelt chill chile chilli or chillie


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 kg (2 lb) minced beef or lamb
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • ½ to 1 tsp ground chile powder, e.g. ancho
  • 500 g (1 lb) canned tomatoes with juices
  • 1 red pepper (capsicum), finely chopped
  • few sprigs of fresh oregano
  • cups water
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 400 g (14 oz) canned red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 packet corn chips


Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and cook onions and garlic until golden. Add meat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring well, until browned. Add coriander, cumin, bay leaf, paprika and chile powder and cook for 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes, red pepper, oregano, water, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer, covered, for an hour or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Add drained red kidney beans and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, until thick and soupy. Taste for spices, salt and pepper, and adjust flavours accordingly.

Serve with a bowl of corn chips and a bowl of hot steamed rice (Pantry).