Matt's Recipe Book

Beef brisket chilli

Beef brisket chilli
Prep time1 hour
Cooking time3 hours

This is a from-scratch chilli made with pulled beef brisket rather than mince – the texture is wonderful. You can use a variety of different kinds of beans, but you should usually include at least some kidney beans. If you have any liquid smoke, a couple of teaspoons can add a nice smoky undertone.


  • Large stock pot


  • 2kg beef brisket
  • 2 diced red onions
  • 12 cloves sliced garlic
  • 4 chopped bell peppers
  • 4 finely sliced fresh red chillies
  • 4 tins plum tomatoes
  • 3 tins beans (kidney, pinto, black…)
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 5 large Ancho chillies
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 tbsp molasses
  • 500ml hot coffee
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 lime, juiced


  1. Place the Ancho chillies in a bowl and pour over the coffee. Set aside.
  2. Trim the brisket to remove all fat and skin. This is a pretty gnarly job and always takes longer than you think. Cut into 3cm cubes, against the grain.
  3. Heat the olive oil in the pan over a low heat. Add the spices – cumin, paprika, oregano, bay leaves, and the onions. Cook until the onion has softened and just starting turning brown – about 10 minutes.
  4. Slice the rehydrated chillies, and add to the onion mixture along with half of the fresh chillies, the garlic, cocoa powder, and some salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Pour in the coffee, tinned tomatoes, and the molasses. Break the tomatoes up a little with a spoon, then add the brisket and cover. Leave for about three hours, simmering gently and stirring occasionally.
  6. When the meat is cooked, it should basically be falling apart. Take two forks, and gently pull apart the chunks.
  7. Add the bell peppers, then drain and add the beans. Stir to combine, then leave simmering uncovered for about 30 minutes.
  8. Add the lime juice, then have a taste and add additional seasoning as required. Serve with rice or tortillas, along with sour cream, guacamole, cheese, and all the usual fixins.