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Cooking Bits #1: Chilli Con Carne Without Tomatoes

Pork Chilli With No Tomatoes

Served with fried padron peppers

Never tried this before, cooking a chilli without using any tomatoes. Or writing about food, but more on that elsewhere. For now, let's stick to cooking a chilli without any tomatoes using instructions that idiots like you and I can understand.

Ingredients (for 2 big portions of chilli)

Main Stuff:

  • 1 big onion
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 500g pork mince
  • A handful of bacon lardons
  • Kidley beans
  • A shot of espresso

Seasoning And That:

  • Generous teaspoon of easy garlic
  • Level teaspoon of easy chilli
  • Quite a lot of smoked paprika powder
  • A bit less fajita seasoning
  • Good amount of salt
  • A few whole peppercorns
  • One stock pot
  • Cornflour
  • Water


  • Your best big, heavy pan
  • Knife
  • Wooden flat spoon
  • Chopping board


  1. Chop an onion into chunks and cook in a bit of olive oil on a low-medium heat until soft. Whilst they're going soft (stop it), chop the pepper into equal chunks. Once the onions start making frying noises and look softened, chuck the peppers in.
  2. Give it a minute then stick the garlic in and stir it round the pan.
  3. Open the mince!
  4. Add the chilli and fajita seasoning, then stir again to cover all the onions and pepper. Right after this, turn the heat up and keep stirring as you start adding the mince in manageable amounts. You want the mince to be able to start going cooking as soon as it gets moved around the bottom of the pan.
  5. Add the bacon lardons.
  6. Add salt, a few peppercorns and loads of smoked paprika. A bit more. Give everything a right big stir so that it's all covered in the seasoning. It should start looking like a burrito filling and might be a bit pale.
  7. Brown the mince and bacon.
  8. Stick the shot of espresso and twice as much more water in. Stir. Add the stock pot. Stir it again. Don't be rough or you'll make a mess.
  9. Once it starts bubbling, turn the heat down to low-medium.
  10. It should be starting to look like chilli now.
  11. Once the juices start to come out the meat and stuff, you might need to add small amounts of cornflour to thicken it back up (shout out to Lotts).
  12. Open your kidley beans and drain away the pretty-Mexican looking water. You might be able to add that in, I don't know.
  13. Add the beans and stir in. Let it get up to full temperature again and when it's bubbling, stir and put down to a low heat.
  14. Leave it as long as you can be arsed on as low heat as possible. Just keep stirring now and then so it doesn't stick.
  15. Serve with whatever you eat chilli with. Hot dog, burger, tortillas, crisps, coleslaw, sweet potato... the chilli-world's your accompaniment oyster, friend! I went for fried padron peppers, in case you're wondering.