However, this spicy stew dish which is widely served in most American diners, never originated in Mexico. In Spanish language ‘chile con carne’ literally translates to chili pepper with meat or chili with meat.
Some people refer to this hearty, soupy concoction as a ‘bowl of red’. This moniker for chili con carne is derived from the bright red color of the dish. Traditionally, this dish is prepared from ground beef cooked with a variety of spices like garlic, cumin, oregano, onions and chili peppers. Besides beef, meats like venison, pork or any other mature meat can also be used to prepare this dish.
History of Chili Con Carne
Many chili aficionados believe that this popular comfort food originated in Texas in the late 1840’s, as a variant to the local dish, pemmican. However, another faction of chili devotees believe that this dish originated in San Antonio in the 1880’s. Chili con carne as we know it today was sold for the very first time in a ‘San Antonio Chili Stand’ which was part of the Columbian Exposition of 1893.
Variations ToThe Original Chili Con Carne
Many variations to the original chili con carne have been invented in recent years. A vegetarian chili has been invented specially for vegetarians. For lovers of very spicy food a ‘chili verde’ or green chili stew dish has been invented and finally for health conscious individuals, even a white chili has been created.
A vegetarian chili uses tofu or textured vegetarian protein instead of the traditional beef. To complement the tofu, potatoes are also used. Other vegetables which can be used in the preparation of vegetarian chili include mushrooms, beets, squash and corn.
Chili verde is an extremely spicy version of the original chili con carne. Besides roasted green chilis, habanero peppers, poblano, Serrano and jalapenos may also be used to spice up the dish. Turkey meat or chicken breasts along with beans are used in the preparation of white chili.
Round steak cut into small pieces – 2 pounds
Tomatoes without liquid – one can
Onions sliced finely – 1
Mashed garlic – 2 cloves
Red kidney beans drained – 2 cans
Chili powder -1tsp
Dried oregano powder– 1tsp
Cayenne pepper – A pinch
Cumin powder – half teaspoon
Salt – 1tsp
Water – 1 cup
Salad Oil – 2tbsp
1. Brown the beef cubes in two tablespoons of salad oil in a hot Dutch oven.
2. Once the beef cubes have turned nice and brown, add drained tomatoes, finely sliced onions, mashed garlic pods, chili powder, oregano powder, cayenne pepper, cumin powder and salt.
3. Sauté the ingredients for about two minutes. Next add water to the pot and bring the ingredients to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat and allow the ingredients to simmer over a low flame for an hour.
5. Add water as and when required.
6. Remove the excess fat which forms a thin film with a ladle.
7. Add the canned beans and allow the dish to simmer for another half hour.
8. Remove the dish from the heat source and serve hot.
Photo Credit: Mydish.co.uk