Texas-style Chilli Con Carne with Tortilla Chips

Spice up the cooler months with some serious flavour. This dish can also be frozen and reheated for a quick and easy mid-week dinner.


  • 1 tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1.8 kg chuck steak, trimmed and cut into chunks
  • 4 tbs sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 jalapeño chillies, seeded and thinly sliced, divided
  • 3 tbs masa harina
  • 2 tbs ancho chilli powder, or red chilli powder
  • 1 tbs dried oregano, plus extra to serve
  • 1 (330 ml) bottle lager
  • 2 (400 g) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 30 g dark chocolate, at least 70 per cent cocoa solids, grated
  • 2 dried red chillies, e.g., guajillo
  • 4 tbs soured cream, to serve
  • 2 spring onions, green tops only, sliced, to serve
  • 2 habañero chillies, thinly sliced, to serve
    corn tortilla chips, to serve
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Step 1.
Toast the whole spices in a small frying pan set over moderate heat, swirling until fragrant, 1-2 minutes. Grind to a fine powder using a mortar and pestle; set aside.

Step 2.
Heat the oil in a large casserole dish set over moderate heat until hot. Season the beef with salt and pepper.

Step 3.
Working in batches, sear the beef in the dish, turning as needed, until golden, 4-5 minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat for the remaining beef.

Step 4.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion, garlic, three-quarters of the jalapeño, masa harina, chilli powder, cumin-coriander powder, and dried oregano. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, 6-8 minutes.

Step 5.
Return the beef to the dish along with the beer, chopped tomatoes, chocolate, dried chillies, and 750 ml water. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Step 6.
Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beef is very tender, about 2 hours.

Step 7.
When ready, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 8.
To serve, ladle the chilli into bowls. Top with soured cream, habañero chilli, remaining jalapeño, spring onion greens, and a pinch of dried oregano. Serve with tortilla chips on the side.

Serves 4-6