There are going to be ructions about today’s cook-off, you just wait and see. A lot of people take chilli con carne, (properly in its native Spanish ‘chile con carne’, chilli with meat), very seriously indeed and argue interminably over where it originated, what should go into it (and what shouldn’t) and how it should be served. Should you pre-cook the chillies? Which bean belongs in a chilli? Does any bean belong in a chilli? Should it even contain tomatoes? These and other questions are bandied about by people with far too much time on their hands and ten gallon hats on their heads. And just because we don’t like feeling left out, HMHB and I both have very different recipes for chilli con carne, hence this cook-off. You can decide which one to cook first and which one you prefer! Neither is at all authentic, by the way, so no fears on that front. These are both good old fashioned 1980s vintage ‘Brit Chillis’…
Quite how chilli made the journey to the
However, and sadly for us as we are of an age, both HMHB and I strongly associate chilli with the 1980s: served up in brown glazed bowls with rice and salad along with a nose-wrinklingly strong garlic bread and a bottle of cabernet sauvignon so deep and potent that it stains yer lips.
It’s generally accepted that chilli comes from
Purists don’t put beans in chilli. But then purists are boring people in the main. Tinned beans are convenient, some insist on using ‘proper’ dried beans. If you do, then don’t forget to soak them well overnight and then boil them for a good ten minutes before using them: they contain an unpleasant little toxin called phytohaemagglutinin (honestly!) which is minimised by boiling.