Chili con carne (best version) recipe

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This is the best chili con carne recipe we have tried so far. It is simple to do, like the rest of the beef chili recipes but it has an incredible taste, especially if refrigerated overnight. You can adjust how hot the dish is by adjusting the amount of chili or cayenne pepper used.
Preparation time: 15 minutes, Cooking time: 90 minutes, Serves: 8 


4 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lb chuck, shoulder or round steak (or other type of braising steak)

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp hot chili powder or cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp cumin powder
2 Tbsp dark brown sugar

3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
2 lb ripe tomatoes, skinned, roughly chopped
1 pint (600 ml) beef or chicken stock

1 3/4 lb red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To serve
Sour cream and corn tortillas or Mexican fried rice
Roughly chopped fresh coriander


Cut the steak into about 1/2 inch cubes or similar sized pieces, trimming off any excess fat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or cooking pot until very hot (the pan should be big enough to fit all the ingredients). Fry the meat for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until well browned on all sides. Drain with a slotted spoon and set aside. Discard any juices that result from frying the meat.

In the same pan or cooking pot, add 2 more tablespoons of vegetable oil, the onions, chili or cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin and brown sugar and fry gently, over medium to low heat, for 8 to 10 minutes until the onions turn to deep golden and become caramelised.

Return the meat to the pan and stir well. Add the garlic, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and beef or chicken stock, raise heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for about an hour and a half. Add the red kidney beans and continue cooking for 30 minutes more.  Taste and adjust with more salt and chili pepper, to taste. Finally, check the consistency of the sauce and if too thin, cook for a few minutes more on medium heat until you get the desired result.

Serve topped with fresh chopped coriander, sour cream and tortilla chips or fried rice.

Notes and tips

The chili can be refrigerated overnight and heated in the microwave when needed. It will actually taste much better if refrigerated overnight as this will allow the flavours to develop. You can also freeze some or all of it and use it as desired.

Use the following amounts of chili powder with the listed ingredients for the corresponding results:
1/2 tsp of chili powder - Mild
3/4 tsp chili powder - Mild to medium
1 tsp chili powder - Medium
1 1/2 tsp chili powder - Medium to hot
1 3/4 and more - Hot

Be careful when using cayenne pepper as it is hotter than regular chili pepper

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This recipe is fantastic. I made it to take to a mexican theme dinner party and everyone loved it. I have been asked for the recipe by lots of people.
Posted by Nikki O'Hara on Mar 03, 2009, 03:24
Best all around chili. Smells good, tastes good, easy to make--you can actually use any kind of ground meat, & can even use canned tomatoes (Hunt's). We made it mild heat and spiced up the heat in each serving to match heat tolerance. Try this one, you'll be glad you did!
Posted by JB on Jul 11, 2009, 11:41

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