Café Con Carne with Green Rice


I wanted to set myself the task of creating the ultimate chilli con carne. A rich beef chilli full of bold spices and a freshness where the flavours and herbs can still be found.  In a bid to create the richest, earthiest beef sauce imaginable I found myself using coffee alongside good quality beef stock.  Much like using cocoa in a chilli, coffee will help deepen all the flavours  throughout your dish which will get better the longer you allow to simmer. This dish really is all about preparation and just letting it cook.


Feeds 4-6 | Preparation Time – 20 minutes | Cooking time – 3hours

Generous glug of rapeseed oil
2 white onions – grated
3 carrots – grated
2 sticks of celery – finely diced o
4 cloves of garlic
1 green chilli – roughly chopped
500g good quality organic mince meat
4 sprigs of thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tsp mixed spice berries – ground
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp hot chilli flakes
2 tins of good quality tinned cherry tomatoes
½ pint of beef stock
½ pint filter coffee – Lavazza ¡Tierra! Is a good sustainable option
2 tbsp tomato puree
several glugs of worcestershire sauce
several glugs of balsamic vinegar
Small bunch of fresh coriander – roughly chopped
500g long grain brown rice – rinsed and cooked as per instructions
1 large bunch of parsley – roughly chopped
150g petit pois
zest of ½ lemon
generous sprinkle of sea salt flakes
generous sprinkle of white pepper

Small bunch of coriander
Small pot of crème fraiche
2 limes, cut into quarters

Begin by heating several generous glugs of oil in a large casserole dish | Once heated add in your grated onions, carrots, celery, garlic and chilli cooking on a medium to low heat for five or so minutes | Next add in the minced beef and continue to cook over a medium to low heat for another five minutes then add in the remaining herbs, tinned tomatoes, beef stock, coffee, tomato puree, worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar | Cover with a lid and place in the oven on 160 degrees Celsius for two hours then remove the lid for the final hour and allow some of the liquid to cook off | Taste and adjust seasoning and spice to your preference. 

For the green rice, cook the rice as per the instructions | While the rice is cooking blitz together your parsley, peas, seasoning and zest then stir through your hot rice again tasting and adjusting the seasoning to your preference.

Serve with plenty of fresh coriander, fresh limes and crème frAIche.

I love to cook this the night before I have guests for dinner as it tastes even better.