Chilli con carne

Chilli con carne

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  • 4 to 6
  • Easy
  • 15 minutes
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Olifants River Shiraz


  • 250 g streaky bacon
  • 700 g free-range beef mince
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 T canola oil (optional)
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t cayenne pepper (or more if you like it hot)
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 green chillies, split down the middle
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 x 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 250 ml beef stock
  • 2 x 400 g red kidney beans
  • rice, nachos or baked sweet potato, to serve
  • fresh coriander, to garnish
  • sour cream, to serve
  • Cheddar cheese, grated

Cooking Instructions

Chop the bacon into small pieces then, over a medium heat in a large pot, sauté it until cooked and the fat is released into the pot. Remove the bacon and turn the heat up to high.

Add the beef mince to the pan and brown, making sure the meat has caramelised before adding the onion. If extra oil is needed, add some canola oil.

Fry until the onions are cooked then add all the dry spices, the chillies, garlic and the bay leaf.

Add the fried bacon to the mince and spices and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer until some of the liquid in the canned tomatoes has cooked out, intensifying the flavour in the chilli.

Pour in the stock and combine gently. Simmer for 1 hour, taking a peek every now and again to ensure the sauce doesn't cook dry. Add more water or stock if that's the case.

After an hour, the meat will be tender and the sauce intensely flavoured.

Add the drained red kidney beans to the chilli and cook for another 30 minutes.

After the final 30 minutes of cooking, turn off the heat and allow the chilli con carne to cool slightly in the pot. For a deeper flavour and thicker texture, leave the chilli to cool overnight and reheat the next day.

Garnish with fresh coriander, a sprinkling of Cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Serve with rice, nacho chips or stuffed into baked sweet potato.

Cook's note: For delicious baked nachos-and-chilli, layer the chilli con carne between layers of nachos chips and grated Cheddar. Bake at 200ºC for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the nacho chips just start to burn a bit at the tips. Serve it with dollops of sour cream, a sprinkling of fresh coriander and for drinks, shots of Tequila, Margaritas or ice cold Corona beer.

Click here for Clement's Man in the Kitchen article: Chilli con carne.

Cook's note: You can easily halve this recipe if you have less people to feed.

Clement Pedro Recipe by: Clement Pedro
View all recipes

Clement Pedro strikes a balance between rib-sticking fare you can really get stuck into and experimental recipes that take accessible ingredients to next-level status. Clem can do pretty much anything – and so can you with his recipes.

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    February 26, 2019

    Turned out awesome! This is now my favourite Chilli Con Carne recipe. The various spices make it a great dish …. with just the right amount of chilli for the family to all love it!