The Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne is a robust and flavorful dish that brings a touch of hearty comfort to any table. Known for their knack for adding flair to classic recipes, the Hairy Bikers’ version of this beloved dish is packed with tender meat, beans, and a rich, spicy sauce. It’s perfect for warming up on a chilly evening or serving as a crowd-pleaser at gatherings.
In this article, I will show you how to make the Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe step by step. I will also share some tips and tricks to make it even better. You will learn how to:
- Choose the right ingredients and equipment
- Prepare the beef and vegetables
- Cook the chilli con carne
- Serve and enjoy the chilli con carne
What is Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe?
Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne is a delicious and spicy stew of beef, beans, tomatoes, and chillies that is inspired by traditional Mexican and Texan dishes. It is cooked with smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar to give it a rich and complex flavour. It is one of the most popular recipes from the Hairy Bikers, a duo of British chefs and TV personalities who love to travel and cook authentic and flavorful food.
With a total preparation time of about 140 minutes, this dish is a labour of love that yields incredible flavours and comforting warmth.
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Why You Love this Recipe
This recipe stands out for several reasons:
- Ease of Preparation: It requires minimal effort and uses readily available ingredients, making it accessible for any cook.
- Comforting & Satisfying: Designed to cater to hearty appetites, it’s ideal for family meals or when you’re hosting a group.
- Customizable: Tailor the heat level and toppings to suit your preferences. It’s a versatile dish that invites your personal touch.
- Make-Ahead Friendly: It freezes exceptionally well and reheats to perfection, ideal for meal prep or those busy days.
- Nutritious: Offering a balanced mix of protein, fibre, and essential nutrients, it’s a meal that feels as good as it tastes.
The first step to making the Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe is to choose the right ingredients and equipment. Here is what you will need:
Ingredients Needed to Make Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne
To make the Hairy Bikers chilli con carne recipe, you will need the following ingredients:
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 500g of lean minced beef
- 2 tsp of smoked paprika
- 2 tsp of ground cumin
- 2 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of black pepper
- 400g of chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp of tomato puree
- 300ml of beef stock
- 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp of dark brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 400g of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 fresh red chillies, sliced (optional)
- A large frying pan or skillet
- A wooden spoon or spatula
- A large saucepan or pot with a lid
- A measuring jug or cup
- A measuring spoon
- A knife and a chopping board
- A can opener
- A colander or sieve
Instructions to Make Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne
Here are the step-by-step instructions for making the Hairy Bikers chilli con carne recipe:
Step 1: Prepare the beef and vegetables
The next step to making the Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe is to prepare the beef and vegetables. Here is what you need to do:
- Heat the oil in the frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, garlic, and red pepper and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.
- Transfer the onion mixture to the saucepan and set aside.
- Add the minced beef to the same frying pan and cook for about 10 minutes, breaking it up with the wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through. Drain any excess fat.
- Add the smoked paprika, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper to the beef and stir well to coat.
- Transfer the beef to the saucepan with the onion mixture and stir to combine.
Step 2: Cook the chilli con carne
The third step to making the Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe is to cook the chilli con carne. Here is what you need to do:
- Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and bay leaves to the saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and rich.
- Add the kidney beans and fresh chillies (if using) and simmer for another 15 minutes, until the beans are heated through and the chillies are soft.
- Discard the bay leaves and taste the chilli con carne. Adjust the seasoning if needed.
Step 3: Serve and enjoy the chilli con carne
The final step to making the Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe is to serve and enjoy the chilli con carne.
Here is what you need to do:
- Spoon the chilli con carne into large bowls and garnish with your favourite toppings, such as sour cream, grated cheese, chopped coriander, or sliced spring onions.
- Serve the chilli con carne with your favourite sides, such as rice, tortilla chips, bread, or salad.
- Enjoy the Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe with your family and friends. It’s a delicious and satisfying meal that will warm you up and make you happy.
What Do I Serve With Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne?
Pro Tips to Make Perfect Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne
Maximize the flavours and textures of your chilli con carne with these expert suggestions:
- Lean Minced Beef: Opt for lean cuts to reduce excess fat, ensuring a more refined and hearty chilli.
- Sauté Until Golden: Cook onions, garlic, and red pepper until they are tender and caramelized to unlock a natural sweetness and robust flavour.
- Browning the Beef: Ensure the beef is well-browned to infuse the dish with a deep, savoury richness.
- The Spice Blend: Employ smoked paprika, cumin, and oregano to impart a warm, aromatic profile typical of authentic chilli.
- Rich Sauce Base: Combine chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, and beef stock to develop a thick, flavour-packed sauce.
- Balancing Flavors: Integrate Worcestershire sauce and a touch of brown sugar to harmonize the acidity with subtle sweetness and umami.
- Slow Simmer: Allow the chilli to simmer gently for at least an hour, letting the ingredients intermingle and intensify.
- Beans and Chillies: Stir in kidney beans and fresh chillies towards the end for added texture and a kick of heat.
- Final Seasoning: Prior to serving, adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and spices according to your taste.
Variations of Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne
How do I store Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Leftovers?
Ensure your delicious chilli tastes great even days later by following these storage tips:
- Cooling Down: Allow the chilli to cool to room temperature. Avoid leaving it out for more than two hours to maintain food safety.
- Airtight Containers: Spoon the chilli into airtight containers or heavy-duty ziplock bags. This step is crucial to prevent freezer burn and keep flavours intact.
- Labeling: Mark the container or bag with the current date and the dish’s name. This helps keep track of how long you’ve stored the leftovers.
- Refrigerating or Freezing: Refrigerate the chilli promptly and consume within 4 days. For longer storage, freeze it for up to 3 months.
How do I reheat Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Leftovers?
Nutrition value per serving (without rice and toppings):
- Calories: 302 kcal
- Fat: 10 g
- Carbohydrates: 25 g
- Protein: 28 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Sodium: 500 mg
- Sugar: 11 g
How can I make the chilli con carne less spicy?
You can reduce the amount of chilli powder, chilli flakes, and fresh chillies in the recipe, or omit them altogether. You can also add more sour cream, cheese, or sugar to balance the heat.
How can I make the chilli con carne thicker?
You can simmer the chilli con carne for longer, uncovered, to evaporate some of the liquid and thicken the sauce. You can also add more tomato puree, flour, or cornstarch to thicken the sauce.
How can I make the chilli con carne more flavorful?
You can add more spices, herbs, or seasonings to the chilli con carne, such as garlic, onion, cumin, coriander, oregano, bay leaf, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, or brown sugar. You can also use a good-quality beef stock, red wine, or beer to add more depth and richness to the sauce.
Can I make Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, you can easily adapt the recipe to be vegetarian or vegan. Substitute the minced beef with a plant-based alternative or increase the variety of beans and vegetables like lentils, mushrooms, or quinoa. Ensure your Worcestershire sauce is vegan, as traditional versions contain anchovies.
What are the best toppings for chilli con carne?
Popular toppings include grated cheese, sour cream or Greek yoghurt, sliced green onions, fresh cilantro, diced avocados, or lime wedges. You can also add a spoonful of salsa or jalapeños for an extra kick.
Is it better to cook chilli con carne on the stove or in a slow cooker?
Both methods work well. Cooking on the stove allows for a quicker meal, usually ready within an hour or two, and lets you adjust flavours more easily as you go. Using a slow cooker is excellent for developing deeper flavours and tenderizing meat, especially if you’re using tougher cuts. It’s also convenient as it allows you to leave it cooking without constant supervision.