"Hasta la vista Kidney Beans"

Kidney beans are so last year, right? Right?! Well if you’re fed up with having the same old chilli time and time again, I’ve got the solution for you.

Chilli is obviously a great student staple as it’s easy and cheap to make, and is fantastic for cooking in bulk and freezing. But how about mixing it up a little?

This recipe is one I have adapted from a classic Texan Chilli, which doesn’t include beans. Hold off on your apprehension, you will love this! The secret to getting a really good chilli is the simmer time, if you can leave the pan to simmer for between 2-3 hours then you’ll end up with a really rich and flavourful chilli. 

Don’t have the time? Then simply add less liquid and your chilli can be ready in just 45 minutes!

This recipe makes 4-6 portions depending on how much you like to eat! The good thing about these ingredients is that they’re mainly store-cupboard staples so once you’ve bought them you can use them in a number of different recipes. Cost effective, ey?!


  • 500g beef mince or quorn mince
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh/dried chilli (this can be any chilli of your choice depending on how hot you can handle. I love to use dried Habaneros, but if you like it mild you can leave this out completely)
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Good pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp instant coffee
  • 330 ml beer/ale
  • 1 splash red wine vinegar
  • 1 tin of tomatoes (400g)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 squares of dark chocolate


  • Begin by heating up some oil in a pan and browning the mince over a high heat
  • Once the mince is completely browned, remove from the pan and store on a plate with some kitchen towel to soak up any excess oil
  • Finely dice the onion and then add to the pan you used for the mince, fry on a medium heat until soft and translucent (around 5 minutes)
  • Finely chop the garlic and chilli and add them to the pan to fry for around a minute
  • Mix all the dried herbs, spices and coffee in a small bowl
  • Splash the vinegar into the pan and stir for a minute
  • Add the herbs, spices and coffee into the pan and stir until they are incorporated. Now’s time to add the mince back into the pan.
  • Add the tomato puree
  • Tip in the beer and add the tinned tomatoes
  • Fill up the empty tin with water and add that to the pan too. You want the contents of the pan to almost reach the lip.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on for 2-3 hours, or more if you have the time. Stir every 30 minutes or so to prevent sticking.
  • Just before serving, add the chocolate and stir in to melt. It adds a fantastic richness right at the end

Serving Suggestions:

  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Cheese
  • Nachos
  • Rice
  • Chopped Fresh Chillies

In the header image, I’ve served mine with brown rice, guacamole, salsa and fresh coriander. Yum!

Now, what are you waiting for? Stop reading, stop drooling and go and get cooking!

Keep exploring



Written by James Ingram, 9 months ago
Agree? Disagree? You can tweet them here @justplanejames