Chilli Con Carne | Melissa Hemsley
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Chilli Con Carne


Chilli Con Carne





Chilli is a very personal dish so feel free to adapt the recipe to suit you and your family – the only non negotiable ingredient is the chilli. Grated carrots add a natural sweetness and adds (meat free) bulk to the dish. This recipe tastes best if left to simmer for a good few hours and it’s one of those dishes that gets better the day after cooking! I love eating the leftovers for breakfast with a scrambled egg mixed in.


  1. In a large wide deep pan, heat the ghee and fry the onions and garlic over a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Meanwhile grate carrots.
  2. Add the bay leaves, dried herbs and spices and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.
  3. Push the pan contents to the side and add the minced beef. Brown the meat, breaking up the mince with the spatula. Once browned, stir everything together and then add the carrots, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste and broth. Turn up the heat to high and bring to the boil.
  4. Once bubbling, turn the heat down to medium, place the lid on and simmer for 30 minutes. Finally, add the kidney beans and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning.
  5. Serve with all your favourite toppings; I like cauliflower rice, sliced avocado/ guacamole, slaw and some grated mature cheddar.

**I always like to sneak in chopped chicken livers into braises, ragu’s and stews like this, just to provide extra nourishment. I know some people are put off livers’ strong flavour and texture but you barely notice it here!**


  • 1 tbsp ghee or butter
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, grated
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tsp cayenne or chilli powder or to taste
  • 800g minced beef (don’t go for the lean) or use a combination of 500g minced beef and 300g chicken livers, chopped*
  • 2 X 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 400ml quality bone broth, stock or hot water (If you can’t get broth, add in a dash of quality worcestershire sauce or tamari for depth of flavour.)
  • 1 X 400g tin kidney beans or aduki or any beans you like, drained and rinsed
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To Serve
  • Fresh coriander, sour cream, chopped spring onions, guacamole or sliced avocado, extra chilli or jalapenos

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