Ciaran's Cross-Channel Chilli Recipe

Ciaran’s Cross-Channel Chilli Recipe

Our oven is pretty rubbish, so for a nice hearty sunday dinner, I’ll often cook up a chilli – it’s usually a hit in the house and with guests, and I always make a little too much so that I can fill my week with meaty leftovers.

Rebecca’s church choir recently hosted a visiting choir from the Netherlands, so the challenge was on to feed about 100 people. I typed up my recipe from memory and had the recipe handed out to some volunteers. In all, we cooked up about 20 kilos of ingredients to make the biggest batch of chilli I’ve seen.

The visitors, presumably used to being fed cucumber sandwiches, proclaimed it was the nicest meal they’d been served on tour. I hope you enjoy it too!

The remains of 10kg of chilli (plus a veggie version bottom-right)


  • 1kg lean beef mince
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 hot chillies, chopped (Ideally two peach habaneros and two finger chillies)
  • 2 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 400g cans kidney beans, drained
  • 25g fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Worcester sauce
  • 1 tube tomato puree
  • 2 OXO vegetable stock cubes, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons mixed herbs
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaped tablespoon sugar
  • 1 glug of red wine
  • Grated cheese
  • Sour cream


  1. In a large pot, fry the onions, garlic and ginger and chillies until softened. Try not to breathe, and make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after handling the chillies!
  2. Add the beef mince and fry until browned, making sure to break up the mince as much as possible.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, tomato puree, Worcester sauce, stock cubes, pepper, sugar, salt and herbs.
  4. Simmer with the lid on for about an hour, stirring occasionally to prevent the chilli sticking.
  5. Chuck the wine in, and simmer a little longer.
  6. Serve with rice, grated cheese and sour cream





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