Chilli con carne

Chilli con carne, from Allegra McEvedy, is a hearty main meal that's great to beat the early winter blues
By Allegra McEvedy
Chilli con carne
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes plus marinating and macerating
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 heaped tsp dried red chilli flakes
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 sprigs thyme, tied together with string
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 500 g braising beef, chopped into 4cm chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 red chillies, thinly sliced
  • 2 Spanish onions, roughly diced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400 g cans of kidney beans, drained
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • Lime wedges and soured cream, to serve
  • 1 pinches ground cumin


1. Put the dried chilli, ground cumin, oregano, cinnamon, thyme and half the garlic into a dish and add the beef.

2. Turn the meat to coat and leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours, or overnight if possible.

3. Heat the olive oil in a deep stew pot over a medium heat and gently fry the cumin and coriander seeds for a few minutes until you start to smell them.

4. Turn up the heat, stir in the beef with the thyme and fry until brown on all sides. Add salt, the fresh chilli, remaining garlic, Spanish onions and carrots and keep stirring until the onions are transparent and the carrots soft about 15-20 minutes.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes, then add the kidney beans. Pour in water just to cover, and simmer for 1 hour with lid on. Then take lid off and simmer for up to 1 hour more, until the meat is very tender and the whole lot has become quite thickened.

6. While the chilli is simmering, prepare the onions. In a little bowl squeeze the lime juice over the thinly sliced red onion; turn the onions over with a spoon a few times, then macerate for half an hour.

7. Finish by adding a pinch of ground cumin to the chilli to give fresh flavour to the slow-cook.

8. Lastly check the seasoning and consistency if it looks a little dry, slowly stir in water until it loosens.

9. Serve with sour cream, macerated onions and wedges of lime.

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