Although the term ‘chilli con carne’ is Spanish, meaning ‘chilli with meat’, it actually originated from the US State of Texas – a dish born out of an effort to get the Mexican Americans to appreciate the taste of chilli both as an ingredient and as a main. This dish eventually rose to the altar to become the state’s official dish. Today, it is still popularly consumed as a dip and as an ingredient to make other deliciously spicy dishes.
My first version of this dish was the vegetarian Spanish Chilli Bean Dip, comprised mainly of mashed kidney beans and chillies and served mainly as a dip. This version here presents the rightful mixture for a chilli and meat stew – that of the Mexican American version – comprising a lesser proportion of kidney beans and a higher proportion of meat as well as spices.
The painful experience I got out of this cooking expedition is that my hands and fingers burnt for one whole day after I chopped the jalapeno peppers with my bare hands. The next day, it took me more than half an hour just to put on my contact lenses, and not without my gloves too. Never ever underestimate the power of these small green peppers. 😈
- Oil: 2 tbsp
- White onion: 2, chopped
- Red bell pepper: 1, core removed, diced
- Jalapeno pepper: 8, core removed, diced
- Chilli flakes/paprika: 2 tsp
- Cumin: 2 tsp
- Ground cinnamon: 2 tsp
- Mace: 2 pieces
- Fresh oregano: 8 leaves, chopped
- Minced pork: 1 kg
- Chicken stock: 1 liter
- Canned chopped tomatoes: 600g (1 big can)
- Tomato paste (or ketchup): 2 tbsp
- Kidney beans: 400g (1 small can), drained
- Salt: 2 tsp
- Ground blackpepper: 2 tsp
- Pita bread: 10, grilled or just warmed
- Heat oil in pot.
- Add onions and saute till slightly browned.
- Mix in red peppers, jalepeno peppers, chilli flakes, cumin, cinnamon, mace & oregano.
- Add minced pork. Stir-fry till browned.
- Add chicken stock, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and kidney beans.
- Leave to simmer for 1.5 hrs.
- Add salt and blackpepper.
- Serve warm with pita bread or rice.
- Top up with some grated cheddar cheese to raise the yummy level!
- The original recipe calls for the use of minced beef instead of pork. I used pork due to personal preferences although beef would give the chilli stew its original, darker shade of red.
- I used ketchup instead of tomato puree/paste for cost-saving reasons and it worked just as well.
8 – 10 persons
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