Our French Life


Well I promised you I would tell you about the Chilli we had for dinner last night, I am they say a fairly good cook suffice to say I love to cook but believe it or not I don't remember ever making a Chili before which is quite strange considering John loves spicy food, so I thought I would try it and just hope I didn't make it too hot.

  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1 large onion

  • 1 red pepper

  • 2 garlic cloves peeled

  • 1 heaped tsp hot chilli powder (or 1 level tbsp if mild)

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 500g lean minced beef

  • 1 beef stock cube (I used the little gravy boat thingy)

  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes

  • 1/2 tsp dry marjoram

  • 1 tsp of sugar - optional - see foot note

  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • 410g can red kidney beans

  • plain boiled long grain rice to serve

  • Soured cream or Creme Fraiche to serve

I prepare all the veg first chopping onion and red pepperinto small dice and chop the garlic smallish. cook the onion for 5 minutes, then add the red pepper and garlic along with chilli powder cumin and paprika, give a good stir and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

Brown the mince in a separate saucepan and drain off any fat, add the gravy pot or stock cube to 300ml of hot water and add to the meat, add the can of tomatoes, marjoram and sugar if using plus some salt and pepper, (I would leave out the salt if using a stock cube). and the tomato puree, put a lid on and simmer gently for 20 minutes.if the mixture dry's out add some water and stir occasionally to stop sticking.

Drain and rinse well the beans and add to mixture, gently simmer for 10 minutes, at this point taste and adjust seasoning, now put the lid back on, turn off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Et Voila
Sadly we were too eager to eat it because it tasted so good and rich but not too hot we forgot to take a photo of the finished article.


  • A Mexican Twist, rather than add the teaspoon of sugar, you can stir in a small piece of chocolate ( 1 square) when you add the beans, Any plain dark chocolate will do, be careful not to add too much - you don't want to be able to identify the flavour of the chocolate but it makes an immense difference.

Let me know if you try it please.

Steve, that sounds like a good idea but I have to say I struggle with whats for dinner on the day and preparing it a day in advance is asking too much :) I like the idea of wedges rather than rice too, thanks for that will give it a try.

I always make my chili the day before and then reheat adding the kidney beans the day I'm going to eat it. I also like to add sundried tomatoes or a tin of grilled peppers for a bit of sweetness. I also serve with potato wedges rather than rice which I find too bland