For a beautiful bowl of meat and heat, chilli con carne always wins us over. With a humble heart and a whole lot of flavour, this dish perfectly balances protein and spice.

As a staple of Tex-Mex cuisine, chilli con carne is nothing new but takes on signature twists wherever it's served. At La Cantinetta Messicana, onions and peppers are essential. Habanero Cocina Mexicana cook theirs up with strips of Argentinian Angus meat and a little Serrano, and if you want to switch up your sides, Puerto Mexico give you three to choose from.

Meat and bean stew

When it comes to a classic chilli con carne, a couple of the ingredients will always cause controversy. But, you'd better believe that any dish with the phrase 'con carne' should always contain meat. Most commonly made with ground beef, seasoned with garlic and onion and cooked up with chilli peppers, chilli con carne comes with a lot of heat.

You're likely to find it dressed in a sweet but tangy tomato sauce and loaded with beans — but not everyone agrees that beans should be included in chilli. At La Cantinetta Messicana, the dish boasts plenty of both. Served with a rice patty, cooling cheese and crunchy nachos, you're sure to dine in true Mexican style.

Tex-Mex's warming roots

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Arguments over sauce and beans aside, chilli con carne is a Tex-Mex staple. The earliest style of chilli recipes date back to the mid to late 19th century, with origins rooted in San Antonio culture. In fact, this style of stew has the honour of being dubbed the official dish of Texas, USA.

A favourite of the Lone Star State, the pre-war period saw dozens of chilli joints popping up all over place. Steaming hot bowls of spicy stew can be served with fries, crackers or even a little pasta. Now taking on more of a modern Tex-Mex twist, Habenero serve theirs with peppers, onions and tortillas on the side.

Finishing touches

Chilli con carne might be all that, but it's nothing without the right side. Transforming each taste and setting off the spice just right, the selection of sides you can find with a classic chilli simply depends on your mood – try something cooling, chunky or crunchy to finish off the dish.

At Puerto Mexico, their classic chilli comes with fluffy white rice and warm tortillas to give you the best of both. And don't forget about the sauces. We know creamy cheese and crunchy onions work wonders with this dish, but nothing quite beats the cooling effect of fresh sour cream or that smooth finish of chunky homemade guacamole.

For a warming bowl of chilli con carne to enjoy at home, pick your favourite Mexican place and order with Deliveroo.

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