Barbecued Chilli Con Carne with Beer

Chilli Con Carne-2074

In case you missed my last post, Aaron and I are now three days into a European adventure which began in Paris on Wednesday 9th July, 2014. To keep the blog running during my absence, a few wonderful blogger friends have offered to contribute guest recipe posts for your reading (and cooking) pleasure over the next few months (yes, the blogger network is amazing).

First off the block is my talented friend Matt, a mutual Mexican food and beer lover who blogs over at Inspired Food. As he mentions below, we met last year at the Eat Drink Blog conference hosted by Perth City Farm and ever since, we’ve maintained a passionate dialogue about everything food and beer related (yeah, you could say that the post below perfectly encapsulates our foodie friendship!).

I’ll be posting a travel update soonish (with plenty of photographs of golden croissants, warm brioche, soft white cheese and wild strawberries… don’t hate me) but for now, it’s over-and-out as I hand over to Matt! Enjoy!


It’s mid afternoon. The sun is hidden behind an army of clouds, occasionally peeking its head through the cracks. The wind has a cold sting as it brushes past my face and I take comfort in the warmth radiating from the charcoal barbecue. Smoke fills the air as a cast iron pot simmers away, filling my soul with joy about what’s to come…

You see, I’ve been sitting here for over three hours watching the barbecue and tending to that cast iron pot of goodness (ensuring I don’t burn down the backyard!). Thankfully I’m sitting with good company and an Esky full of cold beer (I’m sure Laura would agree that it is never too cold for beer, especially when there is a barbecue involved! Yes, Laura does!).

That is all it takes: a little time, a little fire, a little beer and some of your favourite people.

Chilli Con Carne-2007

Hi, my name is Matt. For those of you who haven’t noticed me stalking this page, I too run a little recipe blog over at Inspired Food. Laura and I have known each other for quite some time now, initially coming across each others blogs in cyberspace and eventually meeting up at the Eat Drink Blog conference in 2013. Since then, there have been a number of awesome dinners (The Moroccan Table and The Spanish Table) with Laura and her husband Aaron, Jemima (from Feed your Soul, Perth) and her sister Lexi, Alyssa (my beautiful girlfriend) and of course myself. I’m sure there will be many more to come.

When Laura asked for contributions from guest bloggers while she travels the northern hemisphere, I jumped straight in and volunteered to spend some of my time rambling. This was more of a natural instinct to help a friend out and I hadn’t actually given much thought as to what I would post about. After many late nights trawling the internet, searching through my cookbooks and watching reruns of Jamie Oliver (ok, yes that is just a regular occurrence but shhh!) I finally came up with the perfect post.

Chilli Con Carne-1994

You see, Laura and I share some common interests: we both love beer, we both love Mexican food and we both love Jamie Oliver’s style of cooking. Naturally, once I realized this, all I had to do was combine these three things and I’d be onto a winner.

Combining beer, Mexican and a ‘Jamie approach’ to cooking was really easy once I came to that conclusion. I had just watched episode two of Jamie’s American Road Trip (you know, the one where he hangs out with the cowboys and makes his cowboy chilli?) and that was my inspiration for this post. I wanted to feel the heat from the barbecue, drink beer and cook something amazing.

Chilli Con Carne-2005

I have always wanted to cook something with beef brisket but it’s quite difficult to find here in Australia. Supermarkets tend to favour corned Silverside. I’d suggest you give your butcher a call a few days before to make sure they carry it (and if they don’t they will have time to get it in). Brisket is the perfect cut of beef for slow cooking; granted there is a little preparation involved but it is well worth it. The beer adds a lot of body to the chilli and depending on the type of beer you choose, the options are endless.

Below you will find my recipe for a Tex-Mex style ‘Beer Chilli Con Carne’. Inspired (of course) by Jamie Oliver’s cowboy chilli (‘Chilli Con Jamie‘).

Chilli Con Carne-2062

Barbecued Chilli Con Carne with Beer (of course)

Serves 6-8 hungry people

What you’ll need:

  • 2kg beef brisket, cut into 3 cm cubes
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 5 gloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh long red chillies, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (add more if you like it hot)
  • 1 bottle of beer (pick your favourite, I used about 500ml of India Pale Ale)
  • 4x 400g tins of tomatoes 
  • 1 square of dark chocolate
  • 400g tin of red kidney beans (or your favourite bean) 
  • 2 capsicums (bell peppers), sliced
  • a handful of chopped coriander (cilantro) roots
  • sour cream, to serve
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish 
  • rice and flat bread to serve

Now What?

This couldn’t be easier to make, simply get your barbecue started, add a splash of oil, add the onions and chillies and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened.

Chilli Con Carne-2015

Add the spices and cook for another 2 minutes.

Chilli Con Carne-2021

Then add the beer and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.

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Add the tomatoes, mashing up any whole ones with the back of the spoon. Add the chocolate, coriander (cilantro) roots and meat.

Chilli Con Carne-2047

Mix well, cover and cook for 3 hours or until the meat pulls apart with a couple of forks.

Add the beans and capsicums (and more chilli if your game). Then cook for a further 30 minutes.

Remove the lid, add the sour cream, coriander and start eating. This is best served with rice and flat bread (like warm tortillas) with plenty of cold beers. 

Chilli Con Carne-2074

Thanks again Matt for an incredible guest post… I am definitely trying this recipe as soon as I get home! For more inspiration from Matt, please check out his blog (Inspired Food) and associated facebook, Instagram and twitter!

Chilli Con Carne-1998

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61 responses

  1. Oh this looks delightful Matt! The problem with making hearty meals like this is we always go back for seconds, and thirds and then there are never any leftovers!

    • Thanks Martine :) I’m sure if the recipe is tripled there might be a slightly better chance of leftovers? Or a good excuse to invite more people over to feast! :)

  2. Thank you Seana, I must say it’s food cooked like this that I absolutely love. Simple, delicious and perfect for sitting around a fire with a few beers and good company. :)

  3. Nice chili, Matt! A lot like what we get here in the U.S. Southwest, except we don’t use the beans. (I think that may be a Texas thing…) I look forward to trying your recipe this winter when it is cooler than 40°C.

    • Thanks David! Glad to hear I’m not far off on how it’s done over in the U.S. Yes, definitely wait for cooler weather! 40’c calls for plenty of fresh and light tacos combined with an ice cold beer or two :)

  4. Matt this is gorgeous, I LOVE chili and you really outdid yourself. Great guest post!! Laura, I don’t need to tell you to have a wonderful time because of course you will, Paris, sipping latte’s, eating, drinking oh you lucky girl.

  5. I love camp cooking – I swear it tastes better! We spent a month or so out on this property last year, and all our cooking was done over an open fire, that had a makeshift grill made out of old fences. It was so awesome, and we just became accustomed to it. We then traveled around and visited various people who had their own outdoor kitchens, which I totally fell in love with. I really want a little rustic outdoor fire oven/stovetop now.

    • I totally agree with you Caeli. I’m not sure what it is (maybe the smokiness?) but everything cooked on an open fire/coals tastes amazing! I’ve just moved into a new house and can’t wait to get the outdoor cooking station set up! :)

      • Yeah, I think the smokiness makes a huge difference. I also love the process – usually you’re with others, all sitting around the fire cooking together. I just think it has a lovely communal feel to it. Oooh lucky you – feel free to invite me round for a meal when it’s up and running ;) hehe

  6. Chocolate rocks in chili, doesn’t it? Sounds like you had a lot of fun making this dish — thanks for a lovely read.

      • Yea, I saw…thank you for the follow..:) I am working on it for a couple of months now and there is still lots to learn..:) fortunately I see a lot of blogs, like yours, for inspiration..;)

  7. Hello Laura and Matt! I love that you cooked this exactly as I imagine Jamie himself would have i.e. outdoors bbq-style. The chili sounds fabulous with so many wonderful flavours in it and of course now I am off to check out Matt’s blog! :-)

  8. Whoa!! This looks super! I’ve worked my way through a long list of chili recipes over the years, but this looks to be the most interesting and probably the tastiest yet! chocolate? beer? Count me in. But can I make it on the stove instead of over a fire???

  9. Mmm, beer is definitely the perfect way to add some kick to the con carne! Matt, you are a genius :D
    Awesome to meet you!
    Laura keep having a blast in Paris!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Thank you Thalia, the beer adds so much depth to the chilli and you get to drink the left overs :) would love to know what you think if you try it :)

  10. Hi Matt! So nice to meet you through Laura’s blog. Your photos are BEAUTIFUL!!!! I don’t even eat meat, but I wanted to dive straight into that pot of chili. Fantastic work!

    And Laura, I think you must be back from Paris now? I can’t wait to hear EVERYTHING YOU DID (and ate, of COURSE). I hope you give us a nice long recap of your hopefully amazing trip!!!!

    • Yeeeeew! We had an amazing time, I saw a few places you mentioned in your blog post. Unfortunately our entire week was rainy but hey, never mind ;) And yep, Matt is a star, I wanted to eat the screen! Xx

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