Chili Con Carne

Chili con carne is one of those timeless classics that will never get old for students to make in a big batch and keep in the fridge or freezer for days to come.
Serves 4
1 hour
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Chili Con Carne


2 tbsp olive oil 

1 large red onion

1 large red pepper

1 tbsp garlic purée

500g pack of lean beef mince

1 chili spice mix (or alternatively, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp paprika) 

1 beef stock cube or stock pot

400g tin of chopped tomatoes 

2 tbsp tomato puree

410g tin of kidney beans

salt and pepper

1 tsp sugar

½ cup brown rice per person 

Sour cream (optional)

Guacamole (optional)

Let's cook

On a medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the diced onion and fry, stirring until the it softens and starts to brown (around 5 minutes).

Add the diced red pepper and garlic puree and fry for a further 2 minutes.

Turn the heat up a little, add in the beef mince, break it up and stir so it is combined. Cook the mince for around 5 minutes until it browns.

Pour in the spice mix, stock cube/pot, 300ml hot water, tin of tomatoes and tomato puree. Stir until all combined and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a medium heat and add salt, pepper and sugar. Stir and leave to simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat. It should not be catching on the bottom of the pan, if so then add a little more water and make sure it is on a low enough heat. Keep stirring throughout. 

Drain and rinse 1 can of kidney beans. Add them to the pan and stir in. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes with the lid of the pan removed. Adding a little water if required. 

Meanwhile, add ½ cup of rice to a pan for every person you are cooking for and double the amount of cold water. Bring the pan to the boil, cover and leave to simmer for 15 minutes (brown rice takes a little longer than white). Keep stirring throughout and add a little more water if necessary. 

Once the rice is cooked, boil a kettle of water, place the rice into a sieve and pour over the boiled water to drain excess starch, leaving lovely fluffy rice. 

When the chili has finished simmering and has been left to stand for 5 minutes or so, serve with your rice immediately and additional sour cream and guacamole if desired. What a feast! 

Rachael Palmer
Rachael Palmer
Plymouth University

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Chili Con Carne