Coffee Chilli Con Carne

As winter is coming up we believe this coffee chilli con carne will be just what you need for the dinner table – perfect for a night by the fire! Yep, that’s right – you heard us – you can use coffee in your cooking, not just in your desserts! In fact coffee can be used as a meat tenderizer as well, but this recipe simply calls for well, freshly brewed coffee. We always recommend using fresh roasted coffee beans, which you grind and use immediately for the very best flavour. However, as there are many other ingredients in here, even if you don’t have access to fresh roasted coffee beans, you should be fine!
This recipe comes from Great British Chefs.


  • 800g of diced beef
  • 3 large onions, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 395g of red kidney beans in chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes
  • 960ml of coffee, can use decaffeinated
  • 2 tsp of cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tsp of dried oregano
  • 4 tsp of chilli powder, mild
  • 1 tsp of muscovado sugar
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 2 tsp of smoked paprika

Basmati rice

  • 300g of basmati rice
  • 450ml of water

To serve

  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 150ml of half-fat sour cream
  • 2 limes
  • 2 green chillies, optional
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
1. Soak the dried chilli flakes in a little hot water for 2 minutes, then drain
2. Place a pan over a high heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the diced beef and sear until nicely coloured. Set aside
3. Clean the pan, place over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic and cook until just beginning to brown
4. Add the meat back to the pan along with the sugar, chilli powder, paprika, cumin and oregano. Stir to combine
5. Add the coffee and the soaked chilli flakes to the pan, making sure the meat is covered
6. Cover and cook on the lowest heat possible. Simmer until the meat starts to fall apart, approximately 60-90 minutes
7. Meanwhile, add the rice to a small pot, cover in cold water. Rinse by moving the rice around with your hands. Pour off the white milky water and repeat twice more
8. Drain the excess water, leave to stand for 20 minutes. Add the 450ml of water and place the pot over a high heat. Bring to the boil, cover with a lid and turn down to the lowest heat possible
9. Cook for 12 minutes, or until the rice is just cooked. Remove from the heat and allow to stand, covered, for 2 minutes before serving
10. Remove the lid and add the beans, allow to cook until thickened and rich in flavour. Add a pinch of salt and pepper
11. Divide the chilli across 4 warmed bowls along with the rice. Garnish with the sour cream, chopped coriander, fresh chilli and diced tomato. Serve immediately with wedges of lime to lighten it up. Sour cream is not absolutely essential but will add a refreshing taste to counter the spice of the chilli