Chilli (Con Carne) with balls


I like chillies. I _really_ like them. I’ll add them to pretty much anything, but Chilli Con Carne is the perfect marriage. Over the past few years I’ve used the same recipe, which usually get’s a good reception, so thought I’d share.

WARNING: This is hot, and I don’t mean Vindaloo hot, Vindaloo rates as ‘if I concentrate I can feel a slight tingle’ on this scale – chilli is addictive and over time you develop a certain tolerance – this may take some practice! This recipe will make you sweat and possibly have rather poorly guts the following day, but is mega-tasty! I accept no responsibility for breaking people – but please, be sensible, this should not be tried, or even touched, by children.

First step is to go here and buy these: Dried Naga Jolokia Chillies. These are what make this chilli stand out from the rest, they’re hot! (and I mean hot – even I wouldn’t eat these whole!)

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 tbsp oil (olive/veg)
  • Gloves (for chopping chillies – optional, but recommended for the weak)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 500g steak mince/minced beef
  • 1 tube tomato puree
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cube vegetable stock/500ml boiling water
  • 2 small squares dark (preferably 80%+) chocolate
  • 2 tins kidney beans
  • 8 dried Naga Jolokia, chopped/crushed
  • Small packet fresh bird’s eye chillies (approx. 10), chopped


  • Few droplets (depending on strength!) hot chilli sauce (500k Scoville+ I.e. Da’ Bomb)
  • 1 dried Chipotle chilli, chopped/crushed (adds a nice smoky flavour)
  • Fresh coriander


  • Chop onion, garlic, carrots and fry until onion has softened
  • Add mince, fry until browned
  • Add tomato puree and powdered herbs/spices, cook for 5 minutes
  • Add tinned tomatoes, stock and chocolate
  • Add kidney beans and fresh/dried chillies + optional chilli sauce
  • You’ll have quite a watery mixture due to the stock – simmer until it’s reduced to a sauce
  • Once reduced it’s ready – optionally, garnish with fresh coriander

Now all that’s left is to psych yourself up and eat. It’s great with rice, baked potato or tortillas. Whichever option you take, some (/lot’s!) of sour cream really helps. Any left-over’s can be stored for a few days, and also frozen. I find it actually improves, both heat and taste-wise, with age!


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