Chili con Carne

Over 30 years ago my boss and I checked in late to the Kirkhill Lodge hotel in Dyce, Aberdeen to find that they had finished serving food. However, they were prepared to re-heat some chili con carne if we wished. I’d never had it before but as it was all they had, I tried it. That started my obsession with chili con carne.

At the time I subscribed to a fortnightly publication called “Supercook” which did have a recipe in the earlier issues (recipes were in alphabetical order) so that was my “start point”. Over the next few months I adapted the recipe to suit my taste and excluded the kidney beans to suit my son’s taste.

Ingredients (for 16 servings)

  • 3 kg Beef, minced (ground)​
  • 3 kg Onions, chopped​
  • 6 tblsp Olive oil​
  • 2 litres Beef stock​
  • 12 Garlic cloves, crushed​
  • 2 kg Tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or tinned tomatoes)​
  • 3 tblsp Tomato puree​
  • 12 Chopped fresh chilies (jalapeno or cayenne)​
  • 12 Chopped fresh chilies (Thai hot)​
  • 4 tsp Cumin seeds, ground​
  • 4 tsp Cayenne pepper (or 5 tsp chili powder)​
  • 4 tsp Oregano, dried​
  • 6 tsp Salt (or to taste)​


Heat about 1 tblsp of the oil in a large heavy based frying pan and fry the minced beef in batches, adding a little more oil for each batch. When the beef changes colour add to a very large cooking pot.

Add the remainder of the oil and fry the onions and garlic (again in batches) until the onions are golden brown. Remove and add to the pot. Add the beef stock to the pot and bring to the boil. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and chilies and bring back to the boil stirring constantly. Then add the cumin, cayenne (or chili powder), oregano and salt and mix well.

Reduce the heat to minimum, cover the pot and simmer for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with pitta bread, naan bread, french bread or rice.

To discuss this recipe visit CookingBites foodie forum here