Smokin’ Hot Chili con Pata

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Origin of Chili

The only thing that is true about the chili’s origin is that chili did not come from Mexico. According to Charles Ramsdell, a writer from San Antonio, chili cannot be found nowadays in Mexico except for those places that are usually visited by tourists. If indeed chili came from Mexico, it would still be seen anywhere its vicinity. For Mexicans with an Indian ancestry, they do tend to pass their culinary traditions from generation to generation.

There are many versions of stories about where does chili really come from, this is generally thought by some historians that the early versions of chili were really made by the poor people of San Antonio. They have more pepper compared to the pieces of meat they can afford. What they did so that their family can all eat was they stewed the meat and the peppers together.

Around the turn of time and century, chili joints became popular in Texas. By the 1920’s, they became too familiar with chili all around the West. When depression year came, almost all towns have chili parlors. Those chili joints were mostly just a small room with a counter and stools around it. To separate their kitchen from the dining area, they just hang a piece of blanket.

These chili joints meant the difference between staying alive and starvation. Chili back then was so cheap and the crackers were free. Chili was proven to save more lives back then compared to the amount of lives saved by the Red Cross.

Smokin' Hot Chili con Pata
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup vegetable oil
  2. 1/3 cup onions; diced
  3. 3 cloves garlic; minced
  4. 4 t oregano; dried
  5. 1 bottle cumin; ground
  6. 3 T chili powder
  7. 500 g red kidney beans or pinto beans; cooked
  8. 2 cups tomato puree
  9. 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  10. 1 pork trotter or pata; front and sliced into rounds
  11. Cilantro leaves
  12. Pepper and salt
Instructions
  1. Heat the vegetable oil on a frying pan
  2. Add in the onions with frequent stirring until it is translucent, between 10 to 12 minutes
  3. Put in the garlic and sauté it for another 2 minutes
  4. Add the cumin, oregano, beans and chili powder. Cook until it becomes aromatic.
  5. Pour in the tomato puree and let it simmer with frequent stirring until it reduced its sauce. Approximately 10 to 12 minutes more
  6. Pour the stock and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes until it becomes well combined with each other
  7. Put the pork trotter and continue simmering over low heat for 1 ½ hours or until the meat is tender to the bite.
  8. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves
  9. Season according to your desired taste
Notes
  1. Do not be intimidated by the length of the cooking time. You must only watch it closely in its first 25 minutes. After that time, you may leave it to simmer and can check occasionally to give it a stir.
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Jeanne Miraflor
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