The dish chili, also called chili con carne with meat, goes back many years. there are reports of chilli being served by the Aztecs and Mexican tribes with meat and local chillies. More recently, chili gained prominence during the gold rush with cowboys on the cattle trail making a stew of beans, chillies and meat over campfires on their way to California as early as 1849. Chili has since gained popularity in the US, it is the state dish of Texas and every region of the US has its own version of chili. It is omnipresent on menus and in my world, nothing satisfies as much as a good bowl of chili.
There are numerous versions of chili, but the common ingredients are meat, chillies and beans. Some regions exclude beans, like this recipe, and highlight the meat and sauce. Each region can use local peppers and the spiciness varies dramatically.
Hatch peppers grow exclusively in New Mexico and can be found in various forms. During the season they are found fresh, but can also be canned or frozen. They are also seen in powdered form as both mild and hot powder that has a signature red colour. I was fortunate to have my dear friend Ronda bring me some during our last vacation and I was eager to taste this fabulous flavour again.
This is a lovely version that is flavoured with hatch chillies, bold and as spicy as you would like to make it. There are no beans to deflect from the tender meat and the sauce pops with bright colour and flavour. With the assortment of toppings, this is a lovely chili.
Anthony Bourdain was an American chef, author, and television personality who helped popularize “foodie” culture in the early 21st century through his books and television programs. Appetites brings the reader into Bourdain’s home kitchen. Recipes range in inspiration from classic French to Vietnamese street food to homestyle Italian cooking. This is a book on global cuisine that is refined and dynamic. Bold, almost crazy, and delicious, every recipe pops off the page. this is one of my favourite cookbooks in my library.
2 poblano or green peppers
4 fresh Hatch peppers or Hungarian chillies
2 lb beef chuck or mutton leg, cubed into 1-inch pieces
Salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican or regular oregano
1 heaped teaspoon of mild Hatch chilli powder
Hot hatch chilli powder, to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup light beer
6 cups water
Salt, to taste
Grated cheese, cheddar or cheddar-colby mixed
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Add the peppers to a lined baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes for the Hatch peppers and 30 minutes for the poblanos, rotating them every 5 minutes until they are puffy and charred. remove and cool. Remove the stems and seeds and chop the peppers into a fine dice.
Toss the meat with the salt, pepper and flour till evenly coated. Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan and fry the meat in three batches with 2-3 tablespoons of oil for each batch till browned all over. Set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in a pot and add the onions and garlic. Fry on medium heat till the onions are light brown. Add the cumin, coriander, oregano, hatch chilli powders and toss for 10 seconds. Add the beer, water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the fried meat and simmer for 90 minutes stirring the pot occasionally. Test the meat, it should be very tender, if not, simmer for an additional 30 minutes. taste for salt and spice from the Hatch chillies and adjust as needed.
Serve hot with the accompanyments.