Nobody knows for sure exactly when and where chili con carne was first made, but we can generally agree that the original recipes read something like this..
“Cut up as much meat as you think you will need (any kind will do, but beef is probably best) in pieces about the size of a pecan. Put it in a pot, along with some suet (enough so as the meat won’t stick to the sides of the pot), and cook it with about the same amount of wild onions, garlic, oregano, and chiles as you have got meat. Put in some salt. Stir it from time to time and cook it until the meat is as tender as you think it’s going to get.” –Texas, early 1800s
With deep, dark beef and chile flavors, this is an intensely flavored dish.
Smoke onions, garlic, jalapeños and a plum tomato over mesquite for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, roast a variety of chiles such as Guajillo, ancho, arbol and New Mexico in a slow oven for an hour.
Pull the stems from the peppers and shake out the seeds. Transfer to a food processor and chop into a fine powder. Add the roasted onion, garlic, jalapeños and a tablespoon of cider vinegar and blend into a paste.
Brown a couple of pieces of pork belly in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add small chunks of grass-fed beef chuck or bison and sear until seriously browned.
Add 1/2 cup of the chili paste and just enough water to cover the meat.
Add toasted cumin seed, Mexican oregano, a little sea salt, a few shards of true cinnamon and 3-4 whole cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 hours, adding the chopped, smoked tomato during the last half hour.
Add 1 ounce of Mexican chocolate and stir until melted. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
Serve with beans, cornbread or tortillas on the side if you like.