The name, origin and authenticity of this fiery dish have been debated since its creation. Meaning literally 'chilli with meat', it's been asserted that everyone from the Texas Rangers to a Spanish nun and a Chinese chuckwagon cook invented the dish.
A popular theory pins the origins on Mexico, though some Mexicans have refuted this, defining it in a 1959 dictionary as: "A detestable dish sold from Texas to New York City and erroneously described as Mexican."
Chilli con carne most likely originated in south-west USA, with Texans, New Mexicans and Arizonans laying claim to the dish. While there is no definitive recipe, the most common ingredients are meat, chillies, tomatoes, spices and beans. It's the inclusion of beans that's the biggest controversy in chilli cookery with the purists eschewing their use. Whatever floats your boat, we reckon.
The big bowl o’ red may have hotly contested origins, but its smoky, spicy appeal is indisputable.