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Spiced Chili Con Carne

Spiced Chili Con Carne

This belly warming dish of meaty, spicy joy should be a regular on your dinner table. And any extras are even better the next day as leftovers.
By Nicky Corbishley


It’s a classic.

Only this one is better.

This belly warming dish of meaty, spicy joy is a regular on our dinner table. You can pretty much guarantee there are at least a couple of portions in our freezer at any one time and that we’re never more than 7 days away from our next bowl.

Today’s recipe comes from my husband Chris! Who – although he is a really great cook (thanks Chris’s mum!) – usually sticks to BBQ feasts and cauldron size vats of Chili. This chili is his baby, and it’s taken me 6 months to get him to write it down for me.

In the 11 years we’ve been together, I think I’ve made chili 3 times. It’s been made clear to me that this is not my domain, and i’m only allowed into the kitchen to swoon over the pre-dinner taste testing or to clean up.

Fair enough. I know my place. Note: that’s the only time you’ll hear me saying that!!! erm unless the tyre needs changing or a particularly welded jar lid needs unscrewing. That’s it though. We’re definitely equal in all other things :-D

Don’t be alarmed by the long list of ingredients. Most of it gets thrown in together, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your cupboard already.

See Also

Serve it with rice or pasta, on tortilla chips or jacket potatoes. I even sometimes use a portion from the freezer to make a quick, spicy lasagne. Pile on the melted cheese, coriander, soured cream, spring onions, chilies, avocado. It’s all just a big bowl of happy!


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Spiced Chili Con Carne

  • Author: Nicky Corbishley
  • Total Time: 1 hour 55 mins
  • Yield: 8 1x


Chilli con carne – a classic dish with extra veg to warm you from the inside.


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped/crushed
  • 500g (1.1 pounds) lean minced beef
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 375ml (12.5 ounces) full bodied red wine
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 100ml (3 ounces) boiling water
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 3 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1 chopped fresh chilli (more if you like it hotter)
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. tomato ketchup
  • 4 x 400ml (4 x 13.5 ounce) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 20g (1 ounce) dark chocolate
  • 2 x 400g (2 x 14 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 420g (1 x 15 ounce) can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh coriander

Serve with (optional):

  • Cooked rice
  • coriander
  • Soured cream
  • Chopped fresh chillies
  • Chopped avocado


  1. Heat up the oil in a very large pan. Add the onions and cook on medium/high for about 10 minutes until they’re soft and translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add in the mince and cook until just brown. Break any large pieces up with a wooden spoon. Add in the red peppers and cook for another minute.
  2. Add in the red wine, bring it to the bubble and simmer for 3 minutes.
  3. In a cup, mix the stock cubes and honey with the boiling water. Pour it into the pan and give it a stir.
  4. Add in the ground coriander, mixed herbs, smoked paprika, cumin, ginger, chilli powder, chipotle paste, fresh chilli, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and tomato ketchup. Give it all a mix and cook for a 2 or 3 minutes.
  5. Add in the tinned tomatoes and bring to a simmer, stirring a couple of times. Add the chocolate and stir in until the chocolate has melted.
  6. Leave to simmer gently, half covered for 1 hour. Give it a stir every so often.
  7. After an hour, add in your kidney beans and mixed beans (this is also a good time to put your rice on if you’re serving it with rice). Give them a stir and allow the chilli to simmer for another 20 minutes.
  8. Finally stir in your chopped coriander just before serving.
  9. Serve with rice, coriander, soured cream, chopped fresh chillies and avocado if you like.


Chilli tastes even better then next day when the flavours have melded even more. Any leftover chilli can be cooled quickly, then covered and refrigerated for up to two days. Reheat thoroughly before serving.
Alternatively you can freeze the covered portions. Defrost and then reheat thoroughly before serving.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 95 mins
  • Category: Main

View Comments (10)
  • Hi Nicky, this recipe sounds amazing, not exactly like mine, but you have much more interesting ingredients. I would try making yours on a really cold day, soon, as we are coming into our winter season and Chili con carne is my GO TO “COLD DAY FOOD”. However, can you change the portions of the Ingredients from grams in the meat, and miligrams in the liquids. I use pounds , and cups not grams. I sure would appreciate if you could alter your recipe for me. I am from New York in the USA. Gratefully, Lucy

  • Your chili sounds so delishious, Nicky! As soon as this Southern California weather cools down, I will make a big batch for a family gathering. I’m so happy I came across your blog. Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes!

  • Hi Bob, it’s from a jar of dried herbs that just says ‘mixed herbs’ on the front. If you can’t find those at your local supermarket, then my jar of mixed herbs is a combination of marjoram, basil, oregano and thyme.

  • I owned a small restaraunt in upstate new york for 20 years and sold vats of chili. even won a few ribbons in local chili cookoffs but I got to say that sounds like a very interesting recipie. My question is what is chipotle paste? I can find chipotles in adobo sauce here. is the adobo sauce the same as what you call chipotle paste? Also do you reslly use 2 large onions and 2 bell peppers to only 1 pound of beef? That seems like too much. for that amount I would use 3 pounds of meat. By the way I use a can of lager beer instead of wine. I prefer lager to pilsner for its fuller flavor. I like Sam Adams or Yingling.Thanks for the recipe. Ive looked at tons of chili recipes but yours I may actually try.

  • Hi Steve,

    Congrats on the chili competitions, I’d love to see your recipe!
    Chipotle paste is basically pureed chipotles, tomato puree, vinegar, sugar and seasoning. So I think using chipotles in adobo sauce would be fine. You’re really just looking for that smoky, sweet flavour. This recipe only calls for a little because the chipotle paste is quite potent (about 60% chipotle peppers).
    And for the meat, well my husband (who created the recipe) was looking to incorporate more veg into the meal, without losing the great flavours. When I first saw him chopping up the mound of veg, I though it was going to be more like a veg chili, but it worked, it’s still rich and meaty, just a little more healthy :-)

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