Updated: Feb 3
The origins of chilli con carne stem as far back 1529 when apparently a Franciscan friar called Bernardino first described the dish in his writings about what was being consumed by the people of the old Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan, now the location of Mexico City.
These days chilli con carne is universally regarded as a Tex-Mex dish. However, there's an ongoing hot debate between the Texans and Mexicans as to whether an authentic chilli con carne should include beans or not. The Texans suggest leaving the beans out!
Our recipe below, carefully put together by our friend Amy @amyeats_southsea who took the lead on this one, includes beans. As such, I settled on naming this dish 'Chilli Mexicana' meaning Chilli woman of Mexico! - Nicely done Amy.
The salsa element of the recipe is prepared using our mildest chilli sauce, Hardy's Kiss - Jalapeno & Lime. This is a great choice as it complements the whole Mexican vibe really well and results in lifting the whole salsa fiesta. Once eaten together with the chilli, the entire combination emphasises the yin-yang of hot and cold contained in this classic go-to for many an amigo.... or should I say, amiga!
The chilli itself can be made using either of the following sauces from our range, depending on your taste and heat preferences. You can purchase all our sauces on this page of our website or click the stockists page to find out where your local stockist partners are located.
Bligh's Revenge - Chipotle & Tomato - Mild
Centurion 1744 - Scotch Bonnet & Spiced Rum (1%) - Hot
Ghost Ship - Ghost Pepper & Garlic - Very Hot
Photos courtesy of Jason Buckner @jasonbuckner104
Over to you, Amy...
Chilli Mexicana & Salsa
500 grams of stewing steak
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of mixed beans in tomato sauce
2 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tbsp of tomato paste
1 glass of red wine
1 packet of chilli con carne seasoning
1 tbsp of your favourite Spice Island chilli sauce.
(I used Bligh’s Revenge for a rich, smoky chipotle warmth)
1 tbsp of honey
One beef stock cube
Salt and pepper to taste
One large, finely chopped tomato
One small, drained can of sweetcorn
One finely chopped red onion
A generous handful of chopped coriander
Half a finely chopped red chilli
Mix all together with a generous dollop of Hardy’s Kiss
Salt and pepper to taste
Fry the onion and meat until nicely browned.
Add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes.
Stir in all the other ingredients and leave on the hob until the sauce is bubbling away nicely.
Transfer to an oven proof dish and cook for a couple of hours in a medium heat oven until the beef is tender.
If you are looking for something quicker then swap out the stewing beef for minced beef or minced turkey. Instead of cooking in the oven simmer on the hob for 30 – 40 minutes, stirring often.
Serve with rice and garnish with all your favourite things. Personally, I like sour cream, lime, and tortilla chips.
My name is Liam. Founder and creator of Spice Island Chilli.
Spice Island Chilli®, based in Portsmouth, is a fusion of my two passions: History and Chilli.
It’s the reason I continue to create my handmade range of chilli sauces, sharing with you my interest for awesome new tastes and flavours, and the historic tales of adventure that helped inspire me to create the range.
Spice Island is the historic location of maritime trade and customs in the area of Portsea known as Old Portsmouth.