Happy spring! It’s now officially here, and I am loving the warmer weather and longer days. I made this red and green chili as one last winter hurrah. My family eats this every Christmas Eve (red and green…get it?). We make enchiladas (eaten flat, not folded or rolled up) with beans, tortillas, this chili, and toppings like cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato. It’s the meal I look forward to most every year! And truth be told, I would have taken more photos for this post, but I was always too anxious to dig into this chili!
This year was the first time I made it myself. Usually my grandmother and great aunt do the cooking. You see, my grandmother is a New Mexico Latina who grew up in Colorado just across the boarder from New Mexico. I wanted to learn how to make this special family recipe, and I also wanted to document it.
You do need some special ingredients for this recipe. If you can, find a Mexican grocery store, and get al pastor meat (pork marinated in dried chiles and spices), good tortillas, queso, and good chili powder (such as Fernandez chile molido puro). Then you’ll be all set for the red chili. What makes the green chili green is the hatch green chiles. These are in season in September. I bought a bunch of chiles in September, roasted them, froze them, and pulled them out when I was ready to make chili. I found these instructions from the Kitchn to be very helpful. A note of caution: use gloves when peeling the skin and removing the seeds and rib! Handling them can make your hands burn!
I served the chili with beans I made in the slow cooker and had frozen. If you’d rather not soak and cook your own fresh beans, I recommend Luck’s pinto beans. They have a nice smooth, creamy consistency–not grainy like some brands. And they’re available in most grocery stores.
I love doing different things with this chili. Serve it in a bowl with a poached egg on top. Throw a fried egg on top of the enchilada. Roll it up with scrambled eggs and make it more of a breakfast burrito. Mix it with cilantro lime rice and beans and make it a burrito bowl. For me, it can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2.5 pound Al Pastor meat
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons chile powder, such as Fernandez chile molido puro
- 2 dash cumin
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 dashes oregano
- 2 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 4 cups water
- 1 can petite diced tomatoes
- 8-10 prepared Hatch green chiles (see note), chopped
- For the red chili: Put 3 tablespoons oil in a big pot on medium heat. Add 1.5 lbs meat and begin to brown. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour, coating the meat. Brown the meat and cook the raw flour. Add the chile powder, dash of cumin, teaspoon of salt, 2 dashes of oregano, and 1 minced garlic clove. Pour 2 cups of water in slowly (don't add the full amount if you don't need it--you want to keep the chili thick and rich, not too watery) and add the tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Turn down to low and simmer for an hour.
- For the green chili: Put 3 tablespoons oil in a big pot on medium heat. Add 1 lb meat and begin to brown. Sprinkle in 3 tablespoons of flour, coating the meat. Brown the meat and cook the raw flour. Add the chopped green chiles, dash of cumin, teaspoon of salt, 2 dashes of oregano, and 1 minced garlic clove. Pour 2 cups of water in slowly (don't add the full amount if you don't need it--you way to keep the chili thick and rich, not too watery). Use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot. Turn down to low and simmer for an hour.
- To serve as an enchilada, heat a tortilla in dry skillet on medium low heat. Top tortilla with a layer of beans and a layer of red and/or green chili. Finish with toppings like cheese, sliced avocado, diced tomato, diced onion, cilantro, and lettuce.
- Note: To prepare your Hatch green chiles, place oven rack 4-6 inches below the heating element of the broiler, and set to high or 400-450 degrees. Rinse and dry the chiles. Place chiles in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place the chiles under the broiler and roast until the skin is charred, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn the chiles over using tongs and roast the other side another 3 to 5 minutes. The chiles should be about 70% charred. Remove the chiles from the broiler and place in a paper bag. Close the bag and let stand for 10-15 minutes to loosen the skin. Now remove the skin of the chiles (I highly recommend using gloves here!). The skin should peel fairly easily. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds and rib. Let the chiles cool completely. Place in a freezer bag (I like to put 8-10 chiles in each bag, enough for one pot of chili) and freeze for up to a year.