The pound of minced beef sitting in the bottom of the fridge was insistently calling my name, so I finally paid some attention to it.  As the proud possessor of a hacking cough that made me sound like a 40-Woodbine-a-day girl, I was not in the mood to push the boat out – I just wanted something that was comforting, warm and wasn’t pasta (poor Mr Sat. Night has been doing the honours this past few days, and there appears to have been a lot of pasta..)

So, Chilli con Carne it was then – once again I was amazed to find that I hadn’t shared this one with you – it’s perfect for the dinner that’s on the table in about 30-45 minutes. I literally just throw everything (except for the kidneys beans) into the pot as I go along and wait for it to become magical. The addition of some warmed tortillas or garlic bread and a dollop of crème fraiche on top raises this weekday treat up a notch or two on the social scale.

It freezes like a dream, and is great for reheating, for convenient work lunches the next day.


  • a medium/large saucepan, for the chilli
  • a large saucepan, for the rice
  • Boiling water


  • 1lb/500g good quality minced beef     P1210941
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red or green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped                                    P1210947






  • Glass of red wine
  • Teaspoonful of cumin seeds
  • Heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Heaped teaspoon of ground Coriander
  • Heaped teaspoonful of dried Oregano
  • beef stock cube (optional)
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • OPTIONAL: A couple of fresh Plum tomatoes, deseeded and finely chopped,  plus a small red Pepper , thinly sliced – also optional.
  • 1 jar of Passata (mine was 350g)
  • A dessertspoon of Sundried Tomato Puree
  • A tin of red kidney beans.
  • S+P, to season


  • Basmati rice
  • warmed tortillas/garlic bread/flatbread
  • Crème fraiche (optional)
  • finely chopped red onion/ grated cheese ( optional)


  • Dry fry the cumin seeds until they become fragrant.


  • add the chopped onion and minced beef and stir to break up the beef.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, cover and leave to cook for 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the red wine, oregano, ground cumin and coriander, and stir in.


  • Finely chop the chilli and garlic, and add this.
  • Stir again – the beef should be almost cooked at this stage, and all the added ingredients should be well mixed together.
  • Crumble in the beef stock cube, if you’re using it.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, the Passata, and the sun-dried tomato paste.
  • Then turn it down to a gentle simmer, and leave it. It’s ready to eat when you are..
  • Add the red kidney beans about 10 minutes before serving.



I usually serve this in pasta bowls for simplicity.

Offer the bread, crème fraiche or other tasty morsels separately..


Chilli con carne, served with basmati rice, crème fraiche and flatbread


  • I’ve made this, really successfully, as a vegetarian option by simply replacing the minced beef with Quorn mince and leaving out the beef stock cube. It’s a perfect dinner to cater for your vegetarian friend or family member, whilst feeding the rest of them at the same time.
  • Check out my second-day Chilli – where I make my absolutely brilliant Oven Chips – top it off with some of the Chilli sauce, sprinkle it  with grated Cheese, and finish it off with some Crème Fraiche, sliced Spring Onions and sliced avocado.. totally yum!!

Roasted-off leftover new potatoes, Chilli con carne, melted cheese, Avocado, Crème Fraiche and Spring onions!













I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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