Real Mexican Chilli con Carne

Have you ever wondered why Chilli con Carne is attributed to Mexican cuisine even though the popular version originated somewhere else?

This recipe was first published for the CULSU City Online on my weekly column Food on Fridays.

Thank you for visiting.


Food on Fridays: Real Chilli

Most of us would like to think that we can cook a good Chilli con Carne – but are we cooking it the authentic Mexican way? Maria takes us through her version of this classic dish…

Hi everyone, did you get the chance to try the Spicy prawns from last week?  I hope that if you did you found them yummy.

A promise is a debt, we say in Mexico, so to pay my debt I am going to show you how to make a scrumptious Mexican Chilli con Carne.

Now the one you already know is probably one of the most iconic or let’s say stereotypical dishes of Mexican food, however it did not actually originate in Mexico. 

That is right, as far as I am aware, the chilli con carne that you usually have is said to be first prepared in Texas.

So why do people think is Mexican?

Well because Chillies, tomatoes and some beans actually come from Mexico and other countries of South America and long before the Spanish arrived to these lands, mixing meats (Chilli con carne means: meat and chilli) with chillies and other spices was a common practice among Aztecs, Mayans and many other South American Indians.

So when the conquistadores arrived they liked these recipes and spread the concept around various countries, and then in San Antonio Texas they created their own version of this – Chilli and Meat – inspired in the Mexican tradition.

So after this long food history lesson, you must be wondering; how do we make chilli con carne nowadays in Mexico?

Put your apron on and let’s find out.

I hope you enjoy it!

Mexican Chilli con carne 


250 grs of Stewing beef or a steak cut into small pieces

1 small onion

400 grs of Chopped tomatoes or  1 tin

1 yellow pepper (you can use any colour but yellow will look better)

1 can of cooked beans (any beans)

Lots of oregano

2 Bay leaves 

1 Red chilli 2 or 3 inch long or if you like it spicy 2 chillies

A little bit of dried basil

A pinch of ground nutmeg or all spice if you have some

Salt and black pepper

For the rice:

1 chopped carrot

100 grs of Rice

1 Spoon of butter


In a pan with one cup of boiling water, add the rice and the pieces of carrot with the spoon of butter. Boil it until cooked.

Take the seeds out of the chilli, slice it thinly and soak it in hot water while you prepare everything else.

Chop the onion and the yellow pepper add them to a large pot, and pour just enough water to cover the onions. Start cooking them and when the water starts to bubble add the meat, the oregano, the basil and the bay leaves.

When the meat is browned you can then pour the can of chopped tomatoes, the sliced chilli and its water, which should be quite red by now, the tin of beans, and the rest of the spices. 

Keep stirring the pot so that nothing sticks to it, and all the flavours blend together, lower the heat of the cooker and let it simmer for another 15 minutes or until the meat is tender.

Then just before you turn the cooker off, take a spoon full of dried oregano and mix it in.

Turn the heat off let it rest for a couple of minutes and serve with the carrot rice.

So there you have it another hearty Mexican dish to keep you going.

Don’t forget to study and have fun this weekend  : )


2 thoughts on “Real Mexican Chilli con Carne

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