Chilli Con Carne

How it all started

This is one of the recipes I've been making for a few years now. When me and my man lived in London, we used to make this in the evenings as a comfort meal, often for our friends, too. It all started as a one-time experiment, but never left our house ever since. I also make a vegetarian chilli version and both of the recipes used to be on my older website, but, sadly, I must admit I've been really bad in catching up with the old recipe reshoots. This chilli, however, deserved to come first and finally I can share it with you again. This recipe's not going anywhere, I promise. Let's just cook.

My Favourite Chilli Con Carne

My favourite chilli con carne is one that is richly flavoured, meaning it has enough seasoning and spices, but most importantly - dark chocolate added to the slowly simmering bowl. Dark chocolate brings out the chili flavours nicely and you definitely won't feel like you're eating red meat with a chocolate ganache. We're talking onion, garlic, jalapeno. habanero, dark chocolate, cumin, paprika and everything else... As a healthy alternative lover, you'd think I would be serving my chilli with brown and wild rice, but that's not how it's settled in my house. We eat our chilli with fluffy long grain basmati rice. If indulge, indulge fully and listen to your body. Any other rice here would bring dissatisfaction to me, in which case I'd rather choose a different meal. It's all about balance in life, right? I also top my chilli bowl with perfectly ripe avocado slices, lime wedge, fresh jalapenos and fresh coriander if I have some. Sometimes I add a spoonful of plain yoghurt or light sour cream, but if you're someone who's struggling to keep their iron levels up, I suggest you to skip the dairy. Mixing red meat (or any high source of iron) with products that are rich in calcium (such as yoghurt or sour cream) inhibits iron absorption. That's an important fact you probably have never even heard of. 


Serves 6 | Hands on time: 25 minutes | Total time: 1hr 30 minutes | 1 teaspoon - 15ml


  • 500 g of ground beef (I use dry aged)
  • 600g of pure tomato passata
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1/2 sweet pepper
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 larger onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 can (400g) of red kidney beans
  • 1 can (400g) of black beans
  • 20g of dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 dried ancho chile (optional)
  • 1 jalapeno
  • a couple of bay leaves
  • 1 chilli pepper or 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne
  • 4 teaspoons of sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander,avocado, lime and sour cream or yoghurt to garnish
  • cooked longgrain basmati rice to serve

Pour boiling water over the ancho chile if using to let it soften, then cut it to small pieces. Finely chop the onion, garlic, pepper, celery and carrot. Fry in a large frying pan with a bit of oil until softened, transfer to a large pot. Add ground beef to the same pan without any extra oil and fry until browned, then transfer to the pot with veggies. Add the spices, ancho chile, tomato passata, bay leaves, sugar and 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover half way and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the beans, lime juice and a bit of salt, cover and simmer for 45minutes to 1 hour. Add more water if needed to reach the desired consistency. Salt to taste.


If you make this recipe, do let me know what you think by leaving a comment below or tag @kitchen.julie #kitchenjulie on instagram or @kitchenJulieBlog on facebook.