04 March 2014

Heston's Rich Chilli Con Carne with Spiced Butter Nachos

I’ve been watching How to Cook Like Heston. His take on cooking the perfect eggs, chocolate, roast chicken & beef.   For steak leave it uncovered in the fridge over night.  And you know how you’ve always been told to turn steak only once?  Think again, Heston turns his every 15-20 seconds for for perfectly cooked steak. The constant turning makes for even cooking & I can attest this one works a treat.

The perfect boiled egg was quite another story for me.  Heston goes low & slow.  Egg popped in to cold water, brought to boil, taken immediately off the heat & left for 6 minutes for the allegedly perfect soft boiled egg. Tried & tried again & this one just did not work for me.  Undercooked white & ever so hard to peel! You know when the egg shell comes a way in little pieces & takes little pieces of the white along with it?  Ever so annoying! So I have reverted back to my true & tested.  Room temperature eggs popped in to boiling water, reduced to a simmer & cooked for 5 minutes.  Well, for me anyway that is the perfect egg. How do you make the perfect soft boiled egg?

I digress so back to beef.  After the steak there was chilli con carne.  And what made this chilli con carne so special?  Spiced butter! Butter spiked with cumin, chilli, smoked paprika, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce & Marmite* See it get’s you right there!

*I am sure Marmite would be a most welcome addition to this butter but falling firmly on the hate side there is never any Marmite (or Vegemite for that matter) in my pantry.

It just had to be made! 

Heston's Rich Chilli Con Carne with Spiced Butter

''Adding the spiced butter to the chilli just before you serve it will make it rich and unctuous. If you like it a bit hotter, add a little more butter at the table when you add the grated cheese and sour cream. The lime juice and zest will finish it off with acidity and freshness.'' Heston

Serves 4


For the chilli:
6 tbsp olive oil
450g minced beef (10% fat)
1 large onion, diced
2 whole star anise
3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
1 green chilli, deseeded & diced (or leave the seeds if you like spicy)
2 tbsp tomato purée
Half a bottle red wine (37.5cl)
400g can chopped tomatoes
500ml beef stock
400g can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
230g jar Piquillo peppers, drained & 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:
Tortilla chips
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese, grated


Start by making the spiced butter. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan & lightly fry the cumin & chilli powder for 1-2 minutes. Pour into a bowl & add the rest of the spiced butter ingredients; mix together & once cool, place in the fridge until needed.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a large saucepan & heat over a high heat until smoking hot. Add the mince, in batches if necessary*, & cook until evenly browned. And don’t be frightened go for quite a bit of browning as it will add so much flavour to the chilli, just not black as in burnt! Remove and drain the meat. Add a little water to the same pan to deglaze it & tip the water & any bits in with the drained meat so none of the flavour is lost.

*Don’t overcrowd the pan or the mince will just stew, we want brown & full of flavour.

Turn the heat down to medium & add the remaining olive oil. Add the onions & star anise & cook until the onions begin to colour, then add the garlic & green chilli & cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the tomato purée, stir & cook for another 5 minutes until everything turns a deep brick red colour. Add the browned mince & juices, pour in the red wine & allow it all to reduce by two-thirds. Add the tomatoes & stock and simmer over a low heat for at least 1 hour or until the chilli has reduced to a thick sauce consistency.

Fold in the kidney beans & chopped red peppers & simmer until they are heated through. Stir in 2½ tablespoons of the spiced butter for mild-medium heat (or more if you like it hotter). Remove the star anise. Season with salt & freshly cracked black pepper and serve with rice or as I did as nachos with all the trimmings.

If have chilli put the remaining spiced butter, the lime zest and juice into three separate bowls on the table alongside the cheese and soured cream, so everyone can add their own seasonings to their chilli.

For nachos scatter tortilla chips around the edge of a plate & mound the chilli in the middle.  Sprinkle over a good amount of cheddar cheese & place under a hot grill for a few moments to melt the cheese.  Add a dollop each of sour cream, salsa & guacamole & tuck in!

This chilli is good, actually no good is a really poor way to describe it!  It is deep & rich & spicy & savoury & most definitely one I will be making again.

If you like this you might like this Yucatecan Guacamole with all the Trimmings



  1. I've never actually made a chilli con carne. I think mostly because any I've ever tasted have always been a bit "meh" - really nothing more than a bit of bolognese sauce with a bit of cumin and chilli powder thrown in. This sounds positively amazing though - great combination of flavours and I'm utterly intrigued by the inclusion of the Marmite. This is a definite "must-try" for me.

    1. Never? It is something every now & then I get a craving to make….just love having it bubbling away on the stove. But if you make anything make the spiced butter so good on so many things!!

  2. Can't beat chilli con Carne,...Great recipe, thanks for sharing....



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