Make DF Mexico's signature chilli con carne

If anyone knows how to make a proper chilli con carne, it has to be DF Mexico. Here's its recipe for the warming, deeply satisfying classic

DF Mexico's chilli con carne


Preparation time 30 mins

Cooking time 120 mins

When you're cooking for a crowd, a good chilli con carne is hard to beat  – and this version from DF Mexico is no exception. Wahaca's funky sister restaurant will be serving up its modern Mexican dishes at Citadel festival this year, on 17 July.


  • 1 kg braising beef steak, cut into large chunks
  • 1 ring chorizo piccante, cut into mouth-sized chunks (if you want to keep it pork free you can exclude)
  • 3 onions, finely chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped 
  • 4 ancho chillies chopped
  • 2 Chipotle in adobo finely chopped
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp ground cumin (freshly ground from toasted seeds if possible)
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tbsps cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsps tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsps dark brown soft sugar (if you can't get ancho chillies, try using molasses instead of sugar to give a richer, smokier flavour)
  • 1 tins whole plum tomatoes
  • 330ml of beer (we use pacifico a dark beer would also work nicely)
  • 150g dried pinto beans, soaked overnight before rinsing and boiling in fresh water for one hour; or one tin cooked beans (about 225g)


  1. Preheat oven to 120°C.
  2. Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot/casserole until very hot before sealing the beef on all sides in three batches. Remove the meat once brown to a dish and set aside.
  3. Fry the chorizo in this pan until golden and beginning to crisp, before also removing this and setting it aside. Reduce the heat and add the chopped onions, chopped garlic and chopped chillies. Cook until soft (10mins). 
  4. Once the onions have softened, add the cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cumin, allspice and oregano and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl mix the vinegar, ketchup, sugar (and/or molasses). Add this 'stock' to the onion mixture along with the tinned tomatoes and water before returning all the meat to the pan. 
    Cover the pot and put into the oven for 4 hours. Add beans after 3 hours.  
  6. At the end of this time, you may find that you need to reduce the liquid a little, this can be done on the hob. Before serving, the chunks of meat should be beautifully tender and will need to be torn/broken down using two forks.