If you’re looking for comfort food, easy to cook and delicious, chilli con carne is a very good option. It’s a dish that I like to cook in advance and freeze for those days when you just don’t have the time to cook it all from fresh. And I actually think it tastes better if not eaten straight after cooking. Actually, most of the dishes where we use beans are like that: it tastes better the day after 🙂
In Spanish, the word chīlli refers to a “chili pepper”, and carne is Spanish for “meat”.
Contrary to what most may think, chilli con carne did not originate in Mexico. You can not even find it in the Mexican restaurants, at least not the way we cook it. Apparently, it originated in Texas, by Spanish immigrants.
Back in 1850, the recipe consisted of dried beef, dried chili peppers and salt, which were mixed together, formed into bricks and left to dry, which could then be boiled in pots. Before World War II, hundreds of small, family-run chili parlors could be found throughout Texas where Chilli con Carne is the oficial dish. Each parlour usually had a claim to some kind of secret recipe. In the 1900s, chili parlors started opening outside of Texas. Beans, a traditional ingredient of Tex-Mex cuisine, started to be associated with chilli in the early 20th century.
Chilli con carne is delicious over white rice, on top of tortillas or as a baked potato topping. Whichever way you choose to eat it, it’s always delicious 🙂