Tex Mex – Low Carb Chilli Con Carne


Chilli con carne, a rich, smoky, healthy and hearty dish, originally a Texas/Mexican (Tex-Mex) invention. This melting pot of ingredients and spice has evolved beyond the dish’s humble origins and is now an international favourite.
Some argue that chilli con carne dates back as much as 2000 years to an indigenous recipe which excluded beans and was made with horse meat or venison.
Early 16th century writings talk of a seasoned stew eaten in the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan. Others speculate that it stems from the Canary Islands, in the early 1700’s.
This fiery low carb one-pot or slow cooker meal topped with a dollop of sour cream, a scattering of jalapeno peppers and grated cheddar ticks nearly all of the boxes as the autumn nights draw closer.

The following recipe is the culmination of a number of attempts to create the (near) perfect chilli con carne for low carb enthusiasts. This recipe uses a 1.5 litre slow cooker which makes enough chilli for up to 3 servings.

500g minced beef 15% fat content if possible
1 rasher of smoked bacon
1 white or red onion
3 cloves of fresh garlic
50ml of red wine
3 tablespoons of tomato puree
1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder
2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons of paprika
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
1 beef stock cube
½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg

Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté in butter in a saucepan on a low heat until the onion and garlic soften. Add the minced beef and finely diced bacon and continue to cook on a low heat until the beef has browned. Add the tomato puree and red wine and combine. Add the remainder of the ingredients and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the entire mixture to a slow cooker and cook on low for 2 to 2.5 hours stirring once half way through.

Adding baby button mushrooms sautéed in butter, garlic and parsley as a side dish or scattered on top when serving is a great bean replacement omitted from this recipe.

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