Chilli Con Carne – Heston Blumenthal Style

Dear Heston,
About your chilli recipe, you were right, it is amazing. Granted I didn’t have the wood chips and the blow torch but still and all it was really great. Such dept of flavour and the chilli butter is a really good idea, I’m kicking myself I didn’t think of it before!:->
This ode to Heston’s chilli con carne with spiced butter comes about from my seeing him on TV last week proclaiming this recipe to make the best chilli you will ever taste. Now I havn’t been to Texas for Chilli so I’m not sure how it might compare but I really loved this. The point of the spiced butter is to make it rich and unctuous, it also means that you cater to everyone’s taste as, if you are fond of the heat, simply up the butter quotient. This serves 4 and I didn’t have the peppers so simply left them out and it was still soo good.

For the Chilli
6 tbsp olive oil
450g good quality minced beef (10% fat – needed for flavour)
1 large onion, diced
2 whole star anise
3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 green chilli, deseeded and diced
2 tbsp tomato purée
Half a bottle red wine (37.5cl)
400g can chopped tomatoes
500ml beef stock
400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
230g jar Fragata Pimiento Piquillo peppers, drained and roughly chopped

For the spiced butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp tomato ketchup
½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp Marmite
125g butter, softened to room temperature

To serve
100g soured cream
60g Cheddar cheese (optional), grated
Grated zest and juice of 3 limes

Start by making the spiced butter. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and lightly fry the cumin and chilli powder for approximately 1½ minutes. Pour into a bowl and add the rest of the spiced butter ingredients; mix together and once cool, place in the fridge until needed.

Add 3 tbsp olive oil to a large sauce pan and heat over a high heat until smoking hot. Add the mince, in batches if necessary, and cook until evenly browned. Remove and drain the meat. Add a little water to the same pan to deglaze it and tip the water and bits in with the drained meat so none of the flavour is lost.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the remaining olive oil. Add the onions and star anise and cook until the onions begin to colour, then add the garlic and green chilli and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the tomato purée, stir and cook for another 5 minutes until everything turns a brick red colour. Add the browned mince and juices, pour in the red wine and allow to reduce by two-thirds. Add the tomatoes and stock and simmerover a low heat for at least 1 hour or until it has reducedto a thick sauce consistency.
Fold the beans and chopped red peppers into the chilli and simmer until they are heated through. Stir in 2 tbsp of the spiced butter for mild-medium heat (or more if you like it hotter). Remove the star anise. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper and serve. Heston recommends putting the remaining spiced butter, the lime zest and juice into separate bowls on the table alongside thecheese and soured cream, so everyone can add their own seasonings to their portion of chilli. This is a delicious dinner and no rice is needed as the beans more than make up for it, of course if you want it to go further, serve with a small portion of your chosen grain.

13 thoughts on “Chilli Con Carne – Heston Blumenthal Style

  1. The chili does sound terrific. I am from Texas and most people that live there don’t put beans in their chili even though I like to add them to mine.

    1. Hi, not sure where you are based. They are Spanish tapas pepper. They have them in tesco in Ireland and Iv also seen them in good delis like fallon & Byrne.

  2. Grainne, you’re totally right – this recipe is gorgeous!! Didn’t have smoked paprika just used ordinary and didn’t have Marmite either but don’t think it suffered at all. I love star anise – it adds so much. Love the idea of the chilli butter on the side too. Putting this on the favourites list straight away

    1. Great, Im glad you liked it too, I love it… I actually added an anchovy when I didnt have any marmite and it added a nice salty kick of flavour but just as good without. Pitta chips work great too to dunk into it, Slice up some pitta breads, brush with olive oil, sprinkle some ground cuimin and into hot oven for about 4 mins and hey presto healthier nachos!….

      1. They sound lovely. I often use anchovies in recipes where they are not called for as well – will do that next time as can’t imagine any other use for the marmite! I agree that there is no need for rice – i found the beans and the butter made it more than filling enough.

  3. Made this for our dinner this eve…absolutely gorgeous…will definitely be making it again…such depth of flavour and was a big hit. Thanks…:-)

    1. Thanks ! Yes I think he is a genius and much more accessible now. Glad you liked it, I have loads of the spiced butter wrapped up in the fridge planning other uses for it!

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