Black Bean and Kangaroo Chili

Kangaroo chilli with rice

The weather is getting (slightly) cooler here, so I’ve been craving more hearty meals. I’ve always been a fan of vegetarian chili, but recently I’ve been experimenting with making chili from kangaroo mince. I’ve mentioned before why I prefer eating kangaroo meat – it’s naturally grass-fed and is also a lot more sustainable than beef or lamb here in Australia. 

The cheapest way to buy kangaroo meat is as mince (ground meat). In addition to being cheap, it’s very versatile and can be made into burgers, bolognaise sauce, moussaka and chili.

This time I also managed to sneak some liver into the chili by grinding it up in my food processor. This worked quite well, as the flavour of the liver was diluted by the kangaroo mince, and covered by the spices.

Of course, if you don’t have a handy source of kangaroo mince, you can use beef mince instead. And for my local readers, black beans can be found dried in Indian or Asian supermarkets, and you can soak and cook them yourself.

This recipe is based on Jamie Oliver’s chili recipe – with the addition of cocoa powder. A friend told me years ago that all good chili contains some chocolate and after tasting it I had to agree. These days I add cocoa powder instead because I don’t always have chocolate in the house for very long! The recipe makes around six servings, so I make a large batch and then freeze some and eat the rest for lunches.

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 onions, diced

5 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green capsicum (pepper), chopped finely

2 tsp chili flakes

1 tbsp ground cumin

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground coriander

500g kangaroo mince (or beef mince)

1 1/2 cups black beans (or one can)

2 400g (14oz) tins of crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp cocoa

Capsicum and onion


Heat oil in a frying pan over a medium high heat.  Add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the chili flakes, cumin, cinnamon and coriander and cook for another couple of minutes until fragrant. Add the capsicum and cook until soft.

Kangaroo chili

Add the mince and cook until browned. Add the tinned tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and cocoa, and mix to combine. Fill one of the tins with water and add this to the mix. Season with salt and pepper (don’t be afraid to use quite a bit). Bring the mixture to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for around an hour.

Enjoy with rice, grated cheese, salsa, fresh tomatoes, avocado and lime juice. Or however you like to eat chili 🙂

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  1. I’ve never added chocolate to chili. I’m intrigued. I’m gonna have to try it.

  2. Interesting about the cocoa powder. I add cocoa to mole sauce that I serve over chicken. I think that cocoa is a traditional ingredient in mole. It really does make the sauce richer tasting.

  3. Are you finding being back on meat more expensive? I would imagine so. If I made this I would have used lentils instead of roo which would have been about $.30 (based on using dried). I’m sure the roo cost more than $.30 for 500gr.

    • There’s no question that it is more expensive eating meat. I do try and keep the costs down by buying cheap cuts of meat and organ meats, and buying in bulk, but I feel that the extra expense is worth it.

      500g of kangaroo costs $4.35, and the whole cost for this recipe around $7. Since it makes 6-7 portions, I’m happy with the cost of around $1 a serve.

  4. Hmmmm… I haven’t made chili for several years now… ever since cumin ended up on the allergy list. But maybe adding some cocoa powder would sort of make up for it. I think I’ll have to give it a try!


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