Yes, in the traditional Mexican chili cone recipe, there are cocoa, beef, chili peppers and, of course, beans (at least two types) – all the tastes typical of Mexico’s so rich cuisine, one of the few in the world to conquer the prestigious UNESCO status for intangible cultural heritage.
Chili con carne is also known as “the devil’s soup”, not only because of its fiery flavors. Looking for information about the roots of this recipe I found a very interesting legend related to it and the name of Sister María de Ágreda (the mystical Lady in Blue). Sister Maria never left her home country of Spain, yet professed to evangelize savages of the New World by presenting herself before them in hypnotic visions. History cannot explain why in 1629, 50 Jumano Indians walked out of the desert of unsettled West Texas to be baptized. They told stories of an ethereal blue-clad woman who had taught them of God. According to Indian legend, the Lady in Blue also taught them of a fiery red stew, which over the next century came to be known as chili con carne. Spanish priests took a more hostile view of this peculiarly potent brew, deeming it “soup of the devil” and preaching sermons against indulgence. Suppression only fueled the fire, and by the 19th century chili was a staple among cowboys, ruffians and adventurers on the Western frontier.
Here is the traditional recipe for Mexican cocoa chili con carne – literally from Spanish- chili with meat.
WHAT DO WE NEED:
400 g ground beef
1 big onion
2 cloves of garlic
100 ml of red wine
1 can mixed beans
1 small can corn
2 peeled tomatoes (I used from a can)
3-4 roasted red peppers
2 red chili peppers
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
5-6 cocoa beans
1 tablespoon freshly crushed coriander
1 tablespoon freshly crushed cloves
salt to taste
1 tablespoon cane sugar
HOW TO PREPARE MEXICAN COCOA CHILI CON CARNE:
- Cut the onions on small cubes.
- In a deep dish, heat the oil and put onions to fry, after few minutes add the garlic, and the ground meat. Stir vigorously to allow the meat letting the meat to break into very small pieces;
- Add the wine and roasted peppers, cut into big pieces. Cut the chili peppers into small pieces and put them into the mixture together with their seeds.
- In a mortar, grind very finely the cocoa beans and the cane sugar. Add them to the mixture. Stir the dish regularly preventing it’s sticking to the cookware.
- Add the content of the beans and the corn cans. Also put the peeled and finely chopped tomatoes;
- Add the remaining spices and leave for 10 minutes on a moderate heat;
- Garnish with cream and lime;