Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 2 Hr Total Time: 2 Hr 20 Mins

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)

Useful Equipment

  • 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?

Complement this chilli con carne with sides that enhance its flavours:

  • Rice: A staple that pairs perfectly, absorbing the rich sauce and balancing every bite.
  • Tortilla Chips: Add a delightful crunch and saltiness that contrasts nicely with the chilli’s depth.
  • Bread: Opt for a slice of warm bread to scoop up every last bit of this flavorful chilli.
  • Salad: Introduce a fresh, light element with a crisp salad, offering a refreshing counterpoint to the hearty chilli.
  • Toppings: Garnish with sour cream, cheese, coriander, or spring onions to introduce creaminess, tang, or a burst of freshness as per your taste.
Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne
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

Adapt the classic chilli to your taste or dietary needs with these variations:

  • Alternate Proteins: Try turkey, chicken, pork, or a vegetarian mince as a substitute for beef.
  • Different Beans: Experiment with black beans, pinto beans, or chickpeas in place of kidney beans for varied textures and flavours.
  • Vegetable Twists: Incorporate green, yellow peppers, or carrots instead of red peppers for a colour and flavour variation.
  • Chilli Choices: Swap fresh red chillies with chipotle, ancho, or jalapeño peppers for a different heat profile.
  • Extra Vegetables: Add corn, mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach for additional nutrients and flavours.
  • Spice it Up: Introduce cocoa powder, cinnamon, or nutmeg for an intriguing layer of warmth and complexity.
  • Flavorful Liquids: Enhance the chilli with a splash of beer, red wine, or coffee for an unexpected flavour twist.
  • Luxurious Additions: Consider topping with cheese, bacon, or chorizo for a decadent, rich finish.

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.

Chilli Con Carne Recipe Hairy Bikers

How do I reheat Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne Leftovers?

Enjoy your chilli as if it’s fresh out of the pot by reheating it properly:

  • Thawing: If frozen, thaw the chilli overnight in the refrigerator or use the microwave’s defrost setting for quicker results.
  • Reheating Methods: Place the chilli in a microwave-safe dish or a saucepan for reheating. In the microwave, cover and heat on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through. On the stovetop, warm it over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking and ensure even heating.
  • Check Temperature: Ensure the chilli is piping hot throughout before serving. The goal is to reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for food safety.
  • Serving: Revive the flavours with a sprinkle of fresh herbs or a dollop of sour cream, and pair with your favourite sides or toppings for a complete meal.

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.

Final Words

In conclusion, this Hairy Bikers Chilli Con Carne recipe is a delightful and versatile dish, perfect for various occasions and dietary preferences. Whether you choose to make it vegetarian, spice it up or down, or experiment with different toppings, it’s sure to become a cherished meal in your cooking repertoire.

The option to cook it on the stove or in a slow cooker adds to its convenience, making it suitable for both quick meals and leisurely cooking. Enjoy the rich flavours and heartwarming comfort this chilli con carne brings to your table!

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