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National Chilli Day is celebrated in the US from its orginal roots - chilli is the ultimate people-pleasing dish and is enjoyed across the globe - but do you really know where the famous dish originated? We are joining in the celebrating this year from the UK to pay homage to the legendary dish that really does bring people together.
Chilli con carne (Spanish for 'chilli with meat') is a traditional dish enjoyed all over the globe with thousands of variations and twists! The popular belief is that chilli was created in Mexico, but this is false! Chilli was actually created in Texas, by a group of women nicknamed 'The Texan Chilli Queens' - they would make chilli is huge quantities as it was cheap and could feed their families for a whole week! The dish quickly moved over to Northern Mexico, where it was extremely popular! The chilli con carne was created as a spicy stewing dish containing chilli peppers, beef, tomatoes and beans, the tradition of this has lived on with people adding in cocoa powder, serving it over hot dogs and even over fries!
I had the chance to catch up with our executive development chef, Jeff Baker, this week on all things Chilli! I asked him what his secret to the best chilli con carne is - he said there are a few key ingredients that make a chilli con carne stand out. Firstly, quality chipotle and paprika give the chilli the kick it needs to be a showstopper - investing a little more in these ingredients will ensure the chilli has the restaurant quality touch. He also mentioned, a little touch of cocoa adds a really interesting flavour to the chilli, a sweet bitterness!
He made a point about the discussion between minced meat or diced meat being the best type for a Chilli - he said personally, he doesn't mind! He said either type of meat can have exceptional results, it's all about how the meat is cooked - he even mentioned slow cooking a larger piece of meat, then pulling through the sauce works well, such as a short rib or a whole skirt of beef - he did mention that mince will give you quicker results if you're in a hurry.
Jeffs final key point is to ensure the chilli is served with chunky guacamole, fresh coriander and lime juice: the secret to this people pleasing dish.
Every household has their own twist on the traditional favourite of chilli con carne. Our Michelin starred chef, Jeff Baker has created his own authentic and highly satisfying version of the dish, that can be ready in just 5 minutes! Our saucepan ready chilli con carne boasts all the essentials, with generous pieces of our F&Co grass-fed beef, enriched with black turtle beans, red kidney beans, chipotle and just a dash of cocoa. Punch out the rich flavours at home with a squeeze of lime juice and combine the versatile sauce with your own choice of pairings. The perfect way to celebrate National Chilli Day!