There is no definitive recipe for chili con carne but nearly every version is delicious and it’s a great recipe to cook in your kotlich. This recipe calls for minced beef but its very good made with cubes of chuck steak or skirt of a mix of both. The go-to pulse is generally red kidney beans but black beans or pinto beans can also be used or even a mix of all three. 

Serves 4


chilli con carne in a kotlich

3 tbsp olive oil

1 large brown onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1kg beef minced or cubes – see note above

1 tin red kidney beans

3 tbsp Mexican or mild chili powder

1tsp powdered cumin

1tbsp flour

 2 bay leaves

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tbsp tomato puree

450ml beef stock

300ml red wine or cider


To serve: sour cream and lime wedges

First light your fire, take care to settle the tripod safely and symetrically over the fire. Loop the chain through the kotlich handle and hang over the fire. Heat the olive oil in it and gently cook the onions and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until they are slightly golden. Put in the meat and brown all over. Add the chili powder, and cumin stirring all the time and cook over a more gentle heat for a further couple of minutes. You can adjust the heat by raising your kotlich on its chain further away from the flames. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for another minute. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 45 mins or until the sauce is thick, the meat is tender and most of the liquid had reduced. Taste to see if it needs more salt then serve in bowls with big chunks of bread, spoonfuls of sour cream and a slice of lime.