, Step by step

Chili con carne with salsa salad

A terrific one-pot dish paired with a tasty, fresh salad—great together, or you can even try them individually with other dishes.

Mark Stower, Director of Food and Service.

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 80 mins

Serves: 6


  • Step 1

    Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the rapeseed oil. Add the onion and then the mince and brown the meat. Pour away any fat and then add the chilli, garlic, paprika, cumin and cinnamon and cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes.

  • Step 2

    Add the flour and mix in thoroughly. Cook for a further minute and then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée. Then add the beef stock and simmer on top of the stove for 1 hour.

  • Step 3

    To make the salsa salad, cut all the ingredients into large chunks and mix with the oil and lime juice and zest. Season with salt and pepper and reserve for later.

  • Step 4

    After the chilli has simmered for 1 hour, drain and rinse the kidney beans, add them to the chilli and cook for a further 15 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Spoon the chilli con carne into bowls over fluffy rice and serve with the salsa salad, baked tortilla chips and sour cream.


There is more than one type of kidney bean, so-called because they are shaped like a kidney. Some are speckled red and some are white (also called cannellini beans), but it is the red kidney beans that are traditionally used to make chilli con carne.

All these beans, together with others such as pinto beans, are referred to as common beans and originated from wild beans in the Americas. They were domesticated in the Southern Andes and in Central America and were introduced to Europe in the fifteenth century by the Spanish explorers.

Kidney beans contain toxins (lectins) which are naturally occurring proteins that can cause stomach problems, even if a few beans are eaten. These lectins are present in the raw dried bean, but are inactivated by boiling, so if you are using dried beans make sure that you pre-soak them and boil them for at least 10 minutes and continue to cook them until soft. Other beans contain lectins, but it is the red kidney beans that contain the highest concentrations.

Canned beans are pre-cooked and safe to eat without soaking or boiling. They are just as good in salads and stews, but look for the versions canned in water without salt. Kidney beans are rich in protein, fibre, the B vitamin folate, iron and other minerals.