Campfire chilli and coffee con carne

Not yet rated

Matthew Tomkinson adds a wonderful depth of flavour to his smoky chilli con carne recipe by using coffee as the cooking liquid instead of the more traditional stock. Ramp up the heat with more or less chilli as you like, and serve with cool sour cream, fluffy rice and zingy lime.

First published in 2015




Campfire chilli

Basmati rice

To serve


Soak the dried chilli flakes in a little hot water for 2 minutes, then drain
Place a pan over a high heat and add olive oil. Once hot, add the diced beef and sear until nicely coloured. Set aside
  • 800g of diced beef, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
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
Add the meat back to the pan along with the sugar, chilli powder, paprika, cumin and oregano. Stir to combine
Add the coffee and the soaked chilli flakes to the pan, making sure the meat is covered
Cover and cook on the lowest heat possible. Simmer until the meat starts to fall apart, approximately 60-90 minutes
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
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
  • 450ml of water
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
Remove the lid and add the beans, allow to cook until thickened and rich in flavour. Add a pinch of salt and pepper
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

Matthew Tomkinson’s elegant and highly accomplished food earned him a Roux Scholarship in 2005, as well as Michelin stars at The Goose and The Montagu Arms. He now cooks classically influenced comforting dishes at Betony at The Kings Head in Wiltshire.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.