Chili con carne

Chili con carne

Recipe by Paul Phillips

My favourite chili is adapted from a recipe by Wahaca queen, Thomasina Miers - with the addition of beer, chocolate, soy and marmite (go with me on this)! It takes time, but is almost entirely spent doing its thing in a low oven, and like all stews tastes even better the next day.

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 4hrs

Total time: 4hrs 15mins

Yield: Serves 6


  • 2 ancho (or mulato) chillies, deseeded
  • 2 chiles de arbol, deseeded
  • 2 tsp chipotle chile paste
  • 1 kg beef brisket, cut into 4 equal pieces (note: if you are Sikh - like my wife - lamb shoulder is equally delicious)
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 300g spicy cooking chorizo, cut into slices
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp muscovado sugar
  • 330ml stout
  • 25g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin pinto beans, drained
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 140C.
  2. Soak the chillies for 15 minutes in 500ml of boiling water. Remove and chop to a paste in a small food processor, with a little of the soaking liquid.
  3. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and sear the beef. Put to one side and cook the chorizo in the same pan. Once caramelised, and the flavoured oils released, remove the meat and cook the onion, garlic, spices, herbs and chillies until soft.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, except the beans. Return the meat to the pan, bring to a simmer and place, covered, in the oven.
  5. After 3.5 hours add the beans. Cook for a final 30 mins and then shred the meat with a pair of forks. Reduce the sauce on the hob, return the beef and season well.