Heston’s Chilli con Carne with Easy Corn Muffins

WARNING:  Heston’s chilli recipe is for true food geeks. (However the corn muffins are very easy can be made in half an hour. )

Once upon a time I ordered Heston Blumenthal book of Total Perfection. A simple/ boring looking book. All black and white and (apart from 2 or 3 pages) pretty much all writing. Basic recipes made to perfection. One of those perfection recipes is Chilli con Carne. For Heston, Chilli is an art and he can wax lyrical on it. See this wikipedia page for details of the lengths dedicated Chilli disciples will go to.

To be exact 37 pages of this book have been dedicated to this basic housewife staple and stories of Chili offs in USA that he has been too. Of those 37 pages, about 10 pages or more are dedicated to the actual recipe it self. So many ingredients!

I followed his method but omitted many preparation steps: Such as soaking and cooking bean, Soaking the short ribs in a special marinad a day ahead. I couldn’t find his exact chili blend. And of course i didn’t make creme fraiche ice cream (one day!).

It probably sounds like I have cut a lot …and what’s Heston about my dish after all? Well  no worries still plenty tricks left, plus it still is very tasty, the best chilli that I have made and if there was such a thing as a ‘authentic’ Chilli this would be it!







INGREDIENTS:  (serves 6-8)

  • 500g minced beef
  • 500g bone less bbq ribs
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 fresh jalapeno pepper
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 carrots
  • Garlic
  • 1 roasted red peper
  • Finishing butter – optional ( recipe below)
  • Chilli powder blend (Heston chilli blend recipe below) – or you can used chilli pastes such as tesco’s Chipotle and smoked paprika

Heston’s chilli blend: 

Seed 2,3 the devil’s penis dried chilli (!) and 2,3 birds eye chili, blend. Add the same amount smoked paprika.

Heston’s finishing butter: 

120g butter, softened to room temperature, add a bit of cumin powder and zest and juice of 2 limes. Add 5g Tabasco sauce, 5g Parmesan cheese , 1tsp ketchup, 1/2 worcestershire sauce.

METHOD:  (word by word from Heston )

  1. Place a large pan over a high heat for at least 15 mins. Add fat/oil. When smoking hot, add mince batches and cook until evenly browned. Between batches deglaze with water as needed and save all the bits and liquid that are collected.
  2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mince to a bowl, leaving the fat in the pan. Deglaze the pan.
  3. Turn the heat down to medium and add abit more fat/oil. Add the chilli powder blend and fry briefly, adding more fat/oil if needed.
  4. Crush the star anise and bag it in a muslin. Add this and the onion to the pan and cook for 10-15 mins, or until the onion is soft and caramelised.
  5. Turn the heat down to low, then add garlic, carrot and jalapeno chilli. Cook until soft.
  6. Add tomato puree and cook until it becomes a deep brick colour.
  7. Deglaze the pan by turning the temperature up to medium and adding the whiskey  (be careful as the whiskey will flame). Bring it to boil, then scrape up all the tasty bits stuck to the bottom.
  8. Add the browned mince plus the short ribs and the reserved liquid to the pan. Stir in the reserved kidney beans and braising liquid an simmer over a low heat for 40 mins. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt. At this point its best to cool and store the chilli, and finish later that day or the next day. However you can continue if you wish.
  9. If you have allowed the chilli to cool, reheat over low heat. Adjust the seasoning with salt and the chilli powder blend if necessary.
  10. Add roasted peppers and diced jalapeno. Fold together be careful not to break the delicate beans.
  11. Fold in the finishing butter to give a fresh acidity and glossy sheen to the sauce.



Okaaaaaaaaaay….now: For the corn bread muffins, I followed a very easy recipe (NOT Hestons’s ). It was my first time making corn bread muffins and to be honest they came out very very nice indeed.


  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal- I used polenta instead
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 scant teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 can (approx. 15 ounces) cream-style corn – I whizzed up a large can of sweet corn
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted


Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Combine mixtures, stirring until all ingredients are moistened. Spread in a greased and floured 9-inch baking pan. Bake at 375° for 35 to 40 minutes.

Thanks for looking and come back soon!

This entry was published on October 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm. It’s filed under All the Recipes jumbled up!, RED MEAT and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Heston’s Chilli con Carne with Easy Corn Muffins

  1. Thanks for posting. I am going on a chili cooking bend in honor of National Chili Month. Looks delicious!

  2. oiyoufood on said:

    Oh Gosh, How exciting. I entered this chilli in a ‘chill-off competition’. It came second! I think if I had let it rest for a day (as suggested in the method, step 8) it would have helped greatly! Glad you find this post helpful .

  3. Fancy meeting up for a cook fest?

  4. Clifford on said:

    thank you for posting this one. It’s not on the BBC site anymore. The only one I’m able to find is on the “How to Cook like Heston ” show and doesn’t have the short ribs or half of the steps. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: