Feed-a-crowd chunky beef chilli

The ultimate make-ahead dish, this chilli con carne can be frozen for up to 2 months – simply add more chillies to turn up the heat

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:2 hrs 30 mins
    plus soaking and at least 4 hrs marinating
  • Serves 8
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 445
  • fat 21g
  • saturates 7g
  • carbs 20g
  • sugars 13g
  • fibre 6g
  • protein 42g
  • salt 0.6g


  • 50g dried Mexican chillies, soaked in boiling water for 1-2 hrs
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1½ kg chuck steak, beef shin or ox cheek
  • 2 large red onions, chopped
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 25g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 240g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 240g can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • zest and juice 1 lime
  • handful coriander leaves


  1. Drain the chillies and discard the seeds and stalks. Roughly chop and put in the small bowl of a food processor with the garlic, 2 tbsp of the oil, the red wine vinegar, cumin and oregano. Whizz to a paste.

  2. Put the meat in a bowl or resealable food bag, pour on the paste and rub all over the meat. Leave to marinate overnight (or for at least 4 hrs).

  3. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the remaining oil in a large, lidded flameproof casserole dish and cook the onions for a few mins until beginning to soften. Add the meat and all the paste to the dish and cook for about 5 mins, turning the meat until browned all over. Pour in the tomatoes and add the cinnamon. Stir everything together, then add 100ml water and bring to the boil. Put on the lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 1 hr 45 mins.

  4. Remove the lid and stir in the red peppers, chocolate, sugar and all the beans. Return to the oven for another 20 mins. To serve, stir in the lime zest and juice, season to taste, and scatter over the coriander.

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