Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne Recipe

Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne Recipe
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 15 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 15 Mins

Chilli con carne is a classic dish that everyone loves. It’s hearty, spicy, and easy to make.

But how do you make it the Mary Berry way?

In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry chilli con carne recipe, step by step. You will learn how to prepare the ingredients, cook the meat and sauce, and serve the dish with rice and toppings. You will also get some tips and tricks from Mary herself, to make your chilli con carne even better.

What is Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne?

Mary Berry chilli con carne is a delicious and easy version of the classic Mexican dish, made with ground beef, tomatoes, beans, chilli peppers, and spices. It also has some surprising ingredients, such as red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and dark chocolate, that give the sauce a rich and complex flavor.

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Why You Love this Recipe

Mary Berry chilli con carne is a standout recipe for several reasons:

  • Ease of Preparation: This recipe is straightforward, requiring only one pot and readily available ingredients.
  • Customizability: Tailor the spiciness to your preference and feel free to experiment with additional ingredients.
  • Nutritional Value: It’s a nourishing meal, rich in protein and fiber, ensuring a satisfying and wholesome experience.
  • Versatility: Ideal for any occasion, it pairs well with a variety of sides like rice, tortillas, and various toppings.
  • Convenience: This dish is excellent for preparing ahead of time and is freezer-friendly, making it a practical choice for future meals.

Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne

 You will need the following ingredients to make this recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g of lean minced beef
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 300ml of beef stock
  • 150ml of red wine
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 25g of dark chocolate, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 400g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Rice, to serve
  • Grated cheese, sour cream, chopped coriander, and sliced jalapeños, to garnish (optional)

Instructions to Make Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne

Here is how to make Mary Berry chilli con carne recipe, step by step.

Step 1: Heat the oil and cook the onion and garlic

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden. You can also add a pinch of salt to help the onion release its juices and caramelize faster.

Step 2: Add the beef and brown it

Add the beef to the same pan, and cook for about 10 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through. You can also drain any excess fat from the pan if you prefer leaner chilli.

Step 3: Stir in the flour and spices

Sprinkle the flour over the beef, and stir well to coat. This will help thicken the sauce later. Then, add the chilli powder, cumin, and oregano, and stir well to combine. You can adjust the amount of chilli powder according to your taste, or use fresh or dried chillies instead.

Step 4: Add the tomatoes, stock, wine, and other ingredients

Add the tomatoes, stock, wine, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, chocolate, salt, and pepper, and stir well to mix. Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and glossy. You can also cover the pan with a lid if you want to prevent the sauce from splattering.

Step 5: Add the beans and simmer for another 10 minutes

Add the beans to the pan, and stir well to incorporate. Simmer for another 10 minutes, until the beans are heated through and the sauce is rich and bubbly. You can also add more water or stock, if the sauce is too thick, or cook it for longer, if it is too thin.

Step 6: Serve the chilli with rice and toppings

Serve the chilli hot, with cooked rice and your favorite toppings. You can also sprinkle some grated cheese over the chilli, and let it melt in the residual heat. Enjoy!

Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne

What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne?

Enhance your Mary Berry chilli con carne experience with these versatile accompaniments:

  • Rice: A classic choice, rice complements the dish by soaking up the flavorsome sauce and tempering the spiciness.
  • Tortillas: Whether corn or flour, tortillas can be used to wrap the chilli or as scoops, adding a fun and interactive element to the meal.
  • Cheese: Sprinkle grated cheese over the hot chilli for a delicious melt, or incorporate sliced cheese in quesadillas.
  • Sour Cream: A dollop of sour cream not only adds creaminess but also brings a cooling balance to the spiciness.
  • Fresh Coriander: Chopped coriander lends a burst of freshness and color, enhancing the dish’s visual appeal and flavor.
  • Jalapeños: For those who enjoy extra heat, fresh or pickled jalapeños can be a zesty addition, providing a crunchy texture contrast.

Chilli Con Carne Recipe Mary Berry

Pro Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne

Here are some pro tips to make your chilli even better:

  • Select Lean Minced Beef: Opt for lean beef to reduce the amount of fat in the sauce, ensuring a healthier and less greasy chilli.
  • Properly Cook Onions and Garlic: Cook these until they are soft and golden to enhance their natural sweetness and add depth to the overall flavor.
  • Flour for Thickening: Lightly sprinkle flour over the beef after browning. This helps thicken the sauce, preventing a watery consistency and ensuring a richer texture.
  • Quality Red Wine Selection: Incorporate good-quality red wine for added richness and complexity in taste. If wine isn’t an option, beef stock or water can serve as suitable alternatives.
  • Dark Chocolate as a Secret Ingredient: A touch of dark chocolate adds a subtle bitterness and smoothness, enriching the sauce’s character. Cocoa powder can be a useful alternative if chocolate isn’t available.
  • Season to Taste: Regularly taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli powder to suit your palate.

Variations of Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne

You can also try some variations of this recipe, such as:

  • Vegetarian: You can use vegetarian mince, lentils, quinoa, or mushrooms, instead of beef, to make a meat-free version of this dish.
  • Vegan: You can use vegan mince, lentils, quinoa, or mushrooms, instead of beef, and omit the cheese and sour cream, or use vegan alternatives, to make a plant-based version of this dish.
  • Gluten-free: You can use gluten-free flour, or cornstarch, instead of plain flour, to make a gluten-free version of this dish.
  • Low-carb: You can use cauliflower rice, or zucchini noodles, instead of rice, to make a low-carb version of this dish.

How do I store Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne Leftovers?

  • Refrigeration: Store the chilli in a sealed container or bag in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: Freeze the chilli in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 3 months, ensuring it’s well preserved for later enjoyment.
  • Mason Jar Storage: For convenient single servings, store the chili in mason jars in either the fridge or freezer.

How do I reheat Mary Berry Chilli Con Carne Leftovers?

You can reheat the leftovers of this dish in the following ways:

  • Stovetop Reheating: Gently warm the chilli in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little water or stock if the sauce has thickened too much.
  • Microwave Method: Reheat in a microwave-safe bowl or plate, covered, for a few minutes. Stir halfway through and add a bit of liquid if needed.
  • Oven Reheating: Place the chilli in an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and reheat at 180°C (160°C fan) for 15-20 minutes. Uncover in the last 5 minutes to brown any cheese topping.

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Nutrition value per serving:

  • Calories: 260
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrates: 22g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated fat: 5g
  • Sodium: 900mg
  • Sugar: 5g

Can I Make Mary Berry’s Chilli Con Carne in a Slow Cooker?

Yes, you can easily adapt this recipe for a slow cooker. First, brown the beef and sauté the onions and garlic as per the recipe. Then transfer these to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. This slow-cooking method can enhance the flavors and make the beef even more tender.

What Are the Best Beans to Use in Mary Berry’s Chilli Con Carne?

Mary Berry’s recipe typically uses red kidney beans, but you can be flexible. Black beans, pinto beans, or a mix of different beans can also work well in this recipe. It’s more about personal preference or what you have available in your pantry.


Mary Berry’s chilli con carne recipe is a delicious and easy way to make a classic dish, with a few twists. It is perfect for any occasion and can be customized to your liking. It is also a great make-ahead and freezer-friendly meal, that you can enjoy anytime.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and learned how to make Mary Berry’s chilli con carne recipe, step by step. If you did, please share it with your friends and family, and leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading, and happy cooking!

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