Cowboy Chilli

This blog entry on behalf of Dave who made the best Cowboy Chilli last Sunday, I felt it only right to share it with you!

This dish didnt involve simply opening a jar of old El Paso sauce and pouring the contents over mince. No, this has Va Va Voom! it contains coffee, it has Jack Daniels, it has chillies, it has 5 cloves of garlic! it is so full of flavour it really jumps up and smacks you in the mouth! If you like heat this has got it, if you like flavour this dish definitely delivers, and if you like flambéing…well my friends, you are in luck, because this dish flambés like no other!

Dave takes cooking seriously, he has a pantry full of jars and fancy bottles and kitchen kit that most of us would only dream of owning! most of Dave’s inspiration can be attributed to the much loved (and talented) Jamie Oliver, and since the release of 30 Minute Meals cookbook, Dave has not looked back! This particular recipe came from Jamies America, and Dave added his own personal touch (and kick) by flambéing 50ml of Jack Daniels to throw in at the end.

So this CowBoy Chilli recipe is one of Dave’s favourites, I like to think its because its really tasty, but I have a hunch its because he gets to set things on fire in the kitchen…and lets face it, men like doing that, “Don’t act like you’re not impressed” kind of way! 🙂 (I totally WAS!) The recipe in the book serves 10-12 people, so its a great one to have if you have having friends around, you can make it the night before for an even tastier dish when reheated and served the next day.

We halved the ingredients featured in the book, so I have included our recipe here for you to follow, this one will serve 4-6 people.

(photography by David McClelland)

What do I need?

  • 500g lean mince meat
  • 250ml Coffee
  • 50ml of Jack Daniels (this is where the fire comes in!)
  • 2 large dried chillies
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoons of Ground Cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 red onions peeled and diced
  • 3 fresh chillies
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.5 tablespoons of molasses or muscavado sugar
  • 1.5x red, yellow, or orange peppers de-seeded and sliced
  • 1 x 400g of kidney, butter, or pinto beans
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

What do I do?

  • Make your coffee and soak your dried chillies to rehydrate them
  • Pop your pan on medium heat and add some olive oil
  • Fry off your cumin, paprika oregano, bay leaves and onions for 10 mins.
  • De-seed and chop half of your fresh chillies
  • Slice up your re-hydrated chillies and add to the onion mix along with half of your fresh chillies, garlic, cinnamon sticks and splash of the chilli infused coffee, salt and pepper and add in your mince to fry off.
  • Stir and add the rest of the coffee and the tinned tomatoes, molasses or sugar
  • Cover and simmer on low heat for around 30-45mins.
  • after 15-20mins of simmering, Flambé 50ml of Jack Daniels and burn off the alcohol, throw remnants into the sauce mix, simmer for another 20-25mins.

Serve with peppered sour cream and Rice.

(tastes so much better the next day)
Cowboy Chilli

Cowboy Chilli
Cowboy Chilli

Cowboy Chilli

Cowboy Chilli



  1. This looks delicious! We tried making chilli at the weekend, but it lacked a bit of punch – this recipe looks like it should be full of flavour, I’ll have to give it a try. Love the photos too, gorgeous shots.

  2. Seriously cool recipe… prob should come with some health warnings too 🙂

  3. Wow, my chilli has been sung many praises over the years, but I’ve *definitely* got to give this a whirl!


  1. […] loooong while ago I posted a recipe for Cowboy Chilli, I have to say that it has been some time since we have made it, But, seeing as I now am beating […]

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