10 ways with chilli con carne

Chilli con carne served with Mexican crema and rice.
Chilli con carne served with Mexican crema and rice. Photo: William Meppem

There is no wrong way to cook chilli con carne, because there is no single authentic recipe for it that exists in either Mexico or Texas. This means we're free to cook up beef, chilli, beans and spice any which way we like. Once you've made my ultimate chilli con carne, here are 10 ways to pimp it up.

1. Serve it with soft tortillas (warmed in a dry pan), sour cream, red onion, avocado, and your favourite hot sauce.

2. Go for the crunch – crush corn chips or fried tortillas over the top, scatter with grated cheddar and brown under the grill.

Make it crunch time with by adding corn chips and salad.
Make it crunch time with by adding corn chips and salad.  Photo: Marina Oliphant

3. Swap out the chuck or brisket for beef short ribs.

4. Turn it into a pie – top the chilli con carne with pastry and bake until golden.

5. Top with a fried egg and frizzled onions.

6. Chilli con carne jaffles (or any sort of toastie). Heaven.

7. Pile chilli con carne over a grilled hotdog in a bun and top with grated cheese and red onion for a down-home chilli corn dog.

8. Serve leftover chilli con carne as a sauce for chunky pasta such as rigatoni or penne.

9. Stuff large red capsicum halves with chilli con carne and bake until tender.

10. Serve with Mexican crema (like a silky creme fraiche). Combine 200g cream with two tablespoons buttermilk, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature for six hours to acidulate. Refrigerate overnight until thick. Add lime juice and sea salt to taste, and apply liberally.

Recipe: Jill Dupleix's ultimate chilli con carne