Unforgettable Mega Chilli

This is my own 2009 recipe, based on traditional Texan chilli with some other ideas from Mexican chillies I've enjoyed. Texans will complain that it's not chilli if it has beans, so they're optional.


  • 1 to 1.5kg lean beef, coarsely ground (minced) or small cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (or light cooking oil)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 can (420g) mixed beans in liquid (or, 1 more cup water)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves left on
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves, crushed (just pluck and bash fresh)
  • 8 to 10 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped chillies medium to hot

  • 1/2 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (or 3 if you dare)
  • 3 tablespoons smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 3 tablespoons flour (plain wheat)

  • 6 tablespoons cornflour ("cornmeal")
  • cold water


In a 5-6 litre saucepan or a large dutch oven, brown beef with onion in oil. Add water, beans (or more water), bay leaves, rosemary sprig (yep, that's the unforgettable part), oregano, garlic, chillies and spices, salt and sugar. Simmer, covered, 2 hours. Cool. You can serve it now but it's got some serious kick. Refrigerate or leave covered on the bench overnight so that flavors will combine and mellow.

Skim off the solidified fat. Reheat.

If too much liquid, combine flour, cornflour and a little cold water to make a smooth paste. Add paste mixture to chilli. Cook, stirring, for about 6 to 8 minutes longer.

Remove bay leaves and rosemary twig before serving. Add more chilli for extra kick if too mild.

Serves 6.


Don't like the idea of rosemary in your chilli? That's okay, leave it out. Or better yet, substitute something else! Maybe ginger? Could whisky be made to work?

If you come up with something rad', then definitely you should check out my project in GitLab, Fork it, make a branch and a Merge Request.

Recipes have always been Free/OpenSource...