There is chile and then there’s chili. Chiles are sometimes called peppers, but that’s not really accurate. Pepper comes from peppercorns. Confusing things even further there is chili which is short for chili powder, made from powdered chilis and chili short for chili con carne, a stew made with fresh chilies or chile powder. The reason I bring this up is that when I received a carton of freshly roasted Hatch green chiles, I set out to find a recipe for chili con carne, made with Hatch chiles and let’s just say Google and I found it rather challenging.
Mostly I found recipes for pork chili verde but a request was made for beef. Lisa over at Homesick Texan has what looks like an amazing Chile Verde Con Carne made with beef, but it has 17 ingredients, which is fine if you’re making a big batch. But if you’re making a small batch during the week, my version is much simpler with a lot fewer ingredients.
As with all chili, you should let your taste be your guide. This year I got mild chiles and I’m really glad I did. The spicy ones are so hot I can’t use very many and when I do, I get more heat than true chile flavor. With mild chiles I can use more. When making chili, taste for seasoning but also for texture and adjust the ratio of onions, tomatoes and green chiles to your liking. I made this version fairly mild. Beer can be used in place of water. Chile is good with beans, over rice, with tortilla chips or fresh tortillas, not to mention cornbread. Best of all, chili is very adaptable and very forgiving.
My chiles came from a Hatch chile roast, sponsored by Melissa’s and Mollie Stone’s Market. Want to attend a Hatch chile roast in the Bay Area? There are three more dates left this year at Mollie Stone Markets:
Burlingame: Sunday September 11th, 2016
Greenbrae: Saturday September 17th, 2016
Palo Alto: Sunday September 18th, 2016
Hatch Green Chile Chili Con Carne
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef, chili grind if available
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 garlic clove
1 Tablespoon mild Hatch chile powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2- 3/4 cup diced roasted mild Hatch green chiles (about 5-8)
1 medium or hot Hatch green chile, diced, optional
1 14.5 ounce fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up until crumbled and no longer pink. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent and moisture mostly evaporated. Add the chile powder, cumin and soy sauce and stir. When combined add the chiles, tomatoes, tomato sauce and water.
Raise heat bring to a simmer, lower the heat and simmer gently, partially covered for 45 minutes or until flavors have melded. Taste for seasoning and add salt to taste.
Top with garnishes such as chopped green onions, cilantro, shredded cheese and sour cream or plain yogurt if desired.