How to make a tasty bonfire night chilli | Day Out With The Kids

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Bonfire Bites: How to make a tasty bonfire night chilli

Rachel Brady

03 November 2017

Time to Read

3 minutes

This kid-friendly chilli con carne recipe is healthy (with onions, carrots and celery finely diced) and authentic too, without a can of tomatoes or any beef mince in sight! Don't get me wrong; a quick family chilli is great, but this one is more complex; with slow cooked shin of beef, smoky and spicy flavours coming from smoked paprika and cumin – but with no heat - and even a hint of chocolate at the end which makes it glossy and dark. As there is no heat in this recipe, if you wanted to add spice simply add fresh diced chillies at the same stage you add the veg – or chilli powder – or both?!

We served our chilli with guacamole, tortilla chips, sour cream, cheese, chillies and jackets. But you could also choose rice, or how about sweet potato wedges? You could use a slow cooker to make this: simply make as described then transfer to a slow cooker.

Homemade bonfire night chilli for dinner with the family

To feed a crowd, simply double, triple or quadruple quantities! Make ahead if this is the case – it gets better overnight!

Makes enough for 4 people

Takes 4.5 hours in low oven OR 7 hours in slow cooker on low (or 4 on medium / 2 on high)


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 500g shin of beef, cut into small chunks
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 500ml beef stock (a cube or bouillon jelly is fine)
  • Bottle of beer (the alcohol will burn off but you could use non-alcoholic beer if preferred)
  • 1 tin of kidney beans, undrained
  • A tablespoon of dark chocolate, grated

Homemade bonfire chilli served in a jacket potato

How to make bonfire chilli:

  1. Preheat oven to 130C (if not using a slow cooker)
  2. Brown off the meat in oil at a high temperature to get lots of colour. Set aside and add a little more oil. Brown veg and garlic
  3. Add meat back in. Tip in stock, tomato puree, spices, beer and bring to boil
  4. Tip in the slow cooker or pop in the oven to cook for 4 hours at 130C. If cooking in the oven, do check every now and then that it's not drying up – if so, add a splash of water from the kettle (This won't happen in the slow cooker so no need to check.)
  5. For the last hour or so tip in kidney beans with liquid to loosen. Add the chocolate now too.
  6. Make up your side dishes now and then serve or allow to chill then reheat thoroughly to serve.

Homemade bonfire night chilli with sides

Will you be cooking up this tasty chilli for bonfire night? Let us know in a comment below, or take a look at some of our other favourite family recipes!

Also, here are 10 tips for enjoying fireworks with kids!



Rachel Brady

03 November 2017

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Rachel Brady lives a mostly peaceful but very muddy life in the Peak District with her husband, 2 young kids, 2 cats and 1 naughty chocolate lab. Rachel is one of our much loved Trusted Explorers, which means all content has been written exclusively for in exchange for a contribution to their family piggy bank. All posts are first hand, honest and based on real experiences.

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