My Mexican Chilli con Carne

My take on a Mexican/TexMex Beef Chilli. Not too hot but tasty. The Mexican Oregano can be overpowering so use it sparingly.
If, like me, you use whole dried Mexican chillis then bear in mind that each dried chilli is equal to roughly 1 teaspoon of chilli powder.



1kg lean minced beef
2 large chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped (or one elephant garlic clove)
1 TBP dried ground cumin
1 TBP dried Mexican oregano
2 TBP chilli powder or to taste
1-2 fresh chilli peppers, seeds removed & diced (I used dried chillis one Mulato & one Guajillo chilli)
Coarse salt and freshly-ground black pepper
250ml of tomato puree, passata, or tinned tomatoes chopped (or a combination of all three)
187ml bottle of red wine
500ml cans beef broth
1  TBP molasses
Half a bar of 70-85% cocoa dark chocolate
2 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I used a mix of kidney beans, Pinto Beans & Borloti Beans)

Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Sour cream
Chopped spring onions



Preheat slow cooker.
If using whole dried chillis – re-hydrate the chillis
Wipe excess dust off chillis. Cut off the stem and de-seed. Dry fry each side of the chilli for 10-20 seconds and then place in warm/hot water for 20-30 minutes. Chop up the chillis as fine as you like.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the beef until browned; drain off fat and discard

Add onion and garlic and sauté until the onions become soft and translucent, approximately 3 to 4 minutes

Add cumin, oregano, chili powder, chilli peppers, salt, and pepper.  Stir into beef mixture and cook for a couple minutes longer.

Add the cooked beef mixture to the slow cooker along with tomato sauce, red wine, beef broth, molasses, and beans (I like to heat boil the beans through before adding to the slow cooker, it makes the dried ones a bit softer

Stir together to combine and cover with slow cooker lid

Cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours or high heat for 4 to 5 hours.

Serve in bowls and garnish with your favourite toppings. (Cheese, spring onions, sour cream in my case!)

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

Mulato Chilli on the left, Guajillo (pronounced Gwah hee hah) on the right
Dry fry each side of the chilli for 10-20 seconds – this gets the oils flowing – hold down with a spatula.
Mulato dry frying
Then soak the fried chillis in hot water for 20-30 minutes. By this time my house already smells like a food stall in Guadalajara!
Not a scene from a horror movie – it’s me chopping the chillis!
The rest of the ingredients
Brown off the mince. I do mine in batches and set aside.
Beans boiling
Most of the ingredients in the slow cooker
Chocolate in – Molasses going in
And cook for 4-5 hours on high heat or 8-10 on low heat