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Cowboy Style Chilli Con Carne

Cowboy Style Chilli Con Carne

Using beef brisket in this cowboy style chilli con carne recipe gives amazing texture and wonderful depth of flavour.


1 kg beef brisket

250 ml hot coffee

2 large dried chillies , such as ancho, chipotle or poblano

1 red onions

5 cloves of garlic

olive oil

1 heaped teaspoons ground cumin

1 heaped teaspoons smoked paprika

1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano

1 fresh bay leaves

2 fresh chillies

1 cinnamon stick

2 x 400 g tins of plum tomatoes

2 tablespoons molasses or muscovado sugar

2 red, yellow or orange peppers

1 x 400 g tins of beans , such as kidney, butter, pinto

soured cream , optional


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Carefully trim the meat by discarding any fat or silver skin. Cut the meat against, rather than with, the grain into 2.5cm thick pieces.

Make the coffee and, while it’s hot, soak the dried chillies in it for a few minutes to let them rehydrate.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the onion and peel and finely slice the garlic.

Heat a few lugs of oil in your largest casserole pan on a low heat, add the cumin, paprika, oregano, bay and onions. Fry for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened.

Deseed and chop half the fresh chillies. Slice up the rehydrated chillies and add them to the onion mixture along with the chopped fresh chilli, the cinnamon sticks, sliced garlic, a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper and a splash of the chilli-infused coffee.

Stir, then add the rest of the coffee, the tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a spoon, and the molasses or sugar. Add the pieces of brisket and another good pinch of salt and pepper, cover with a lid and simmer for around 3 hours, stirring occasionally.

After a few hours use 2 forks or a potato masher to break the meat up and pull it apart.

Once you’ve done this, deseed, slice and add the peppers, then drain and add the beans. Leave to simmer with the lid off for 30 minutes, or until the meat is completely falling apart and delicious, stirring occasionally.

Have a taste and season well – if you require a bit more heat (like I would), this is the time to deseed and chop the rest of the fresh chilli and stir it in.

Dollop a big spoonful of soured cream over the chilli (if using), and serve straight from the pan, with fluffy rice, flatbreads or potatoes and a really nice fresh lemony green salad. Don’t forget multiple cold beers! Enjoy.

Original recipe can be found here