Beef & Bean Chili

Most of the credit for this “Beef & Bean Chili” recipe goes to the wife. I’ve added some nice ‘extras’ such as the oregano and chipotle, but it’s essentially her recipe. Go all out, serve with rice, sour cream, salsa, chips, wraps and a few beers. It’s really, really, really good.

Beef & Bean Chili


  • 900g good-quality minced beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium courgette, chopped
  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1-2 tbsp dried chilli flakes (depending on your tolerance)
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle chilli pepper
  • 5 tbsp tomato ketchup (Chef is perfect for this)
  • 5g dark chocolate (85% cocoa solids)
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 5 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
  • 2 x 400g canned tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g cans kidney beans
  • 2 x 400g can black-eye beans


  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large pot or casserole. Add the onions and fry until starting to colour. Add the garlic, minced beef and a little salt. Fry hard to get some colour on the meat.
  2. Add the vegetables, chilli flakes, cumin, coriander, chipotle and fry for a minute or two.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients, apart from the black-eye beans, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Add the black-eye beans 5 minutes before the end, as the tend to break up more easily. Season with salt if necessary and some freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 6-8.


  • Tomato ketchup might seem like an unlikely addition to a good chilli, but it really does work. It’s the perfect mixture sweet, sour and spice and gives a great depth to the dish. My personal preference is for Chef over Heinz.
  • You could substitute a teaspoon of cocoa powder for the dark chocolate. Again, this gives the chilli a deep, rich taste.
  • I use kidney beans here out of habit more than anything, but you could use any robust bean: chickpeas, pinto beans etc.
  • The ground chipotle powder is optional here because it’s not that easy to come by. It gives a great smoky flavour. I’ve previously substituted this with about 200g of finely chopped chorizo, which is a great alternative.
  • This dish is excellent if it’s eaten the day after it’s cooked. It also freezes extremely well.
  • Sometime I like to make my “Devil’s Breath” version, adding a tablespoon of “Chipotle in Adobo”, along with 2 teaspoons of “Habanero Hot Sauce”. You can use any brand you wish, but I use the products from the Cool Chile Co.

3 Responses to “Beef & Bean Chili”

  1. 1 Lucy November 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Hey that’s a great recipe – I love a nice bowl of chilli and it’s always better the next day. I did a mexican cookery course a few months back – they had the best chipotle chillies – but I’ve no idea where to get them in Dublin, any suggestions?

  1. 1 Tim Hayward's Bonfire Night Chilli | Toasted Special Trackback on November 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm
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