The development of my Chilli con Carne Recipe has little to do with growing up in Britain, where ‘Chilli con Carne’ is a dish that bares very little resemblance to the Central American dish of the same name. From the Spanish, ‘chile con carne’, literally means ‘chile pepper with meat’ and traditionally are made from chile peppers, garlic, onions, cumin and chopped beef. Since coming to Texas another thing that is different is that chilli here is made ‘sans beans’ (without beans), with chunks of beef instead of ground beef and there is far more depth of flavour to the dish.
Chilli con carne was first recorded by one of Hernan Cortez’s Captains in 1519. He mentioned in his book that the Cholulans and the Aztecs had prepared cauldrons of tomatoes, salt and chilies in anticipation of their victory over the Spanish. The only ingredient missing was the meat, which would have been the defeated Conquistadors.
My Chilli con Carne
- 1.5lb of cubed stewing steak
- 12oz bottle of beer. I prefer Shiner Bock
- 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
- 1 fresh poblano pepper. Chopped and seeded
- 1 ancho chili pepper (i.e. dried poblano pepper). Leave whole but remove the seeds.
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 crushed cloves of garlic
- 1 tbls cumin powder
- 1 tbls ground coriander powder
- 2 tsp of hot chili powder
- 0.5 pints of chicken stock
- 1 tsp of salt
- freshly ground black pepper
How to make my Chile con Carne
First brown the beef in a little oil and then sweat the onions and garlic until soft. Add the chilli peppers, spices, salt and pepper, then cook for a minute or so. Next add the tomatoes, beer and stock, and leave to simmer for a couple of hours until the meat has broken down into shreds. Serve with rice, bread or just with a little shredded cheese on top.