This great chilli recipe has to be one of the best dishes to serve to friends for a casual get-together. An easy sharing favourite that uses up storecupboard ingredients.

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if you only have mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 400g Helen Browning’s Good Beef mince
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1 tsp sugar 
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 can red kidney beans


Finely chop large onion. Cut red pepper in half lengthways, remove stalk and seeds, then chop. Peel and finely chop 2 garlic cloves. Put large heavy pan on the hob over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until the onion is soft and slightly translucent.

Add in the garlic, red pepper, 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder or 1 level tbsp mild chilli powder, 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp ground cumin. Give it a good stir, then leave it to cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Turn the heat up a bit, add the meat to the pan and break it up with your spoon or spatula. Keep stirring for at least 5 minutes, until all the mince is in uniform, small lumps and there are no more pink bits. Keep the heat hot enough for the meat to fry and become brown, rather than just stew.

Crumble 1 beef stock cube into 300ml hot water. Pour this into the pan with the mince mixture. Add can of chopped tomatoes. Tip in dried marjoram, sugar and a good shake of salt and pepper. Squirt in tomato purée and stir the sauce well. Bring the whole thing to the boil, give it a good stir and put a lid on the pan. Turn down the heat until it is gently bubbling and leave it for 20 minutes.

Check on the pan occasionally to stir it and make sure the sauce doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan or isn’t drying out. If it is, add a couple of tablespoons of water and make sure that the heat really is low enough. After simmering gently, the saucy mince mixture should look thick, moist and juicy.

Drain and rinse a can of red kidney beans in a sieve and stir them into the chilli pot. Bring to the boil again, and gently bubble without the lid for another 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it looks too dry.

Check seasoning, cover and leave for 10 minutes for the flavours to develop – serve with rice, baked potatoes or with nachos. Soured cream is an excellent garnish.

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