Focus Carlsbad Spring 2021 | Recipe: Chile con Carne

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It’s that time of year when the weather can’t make up its mind.

Sunny and warm? Cold and gray? At least one thing is reliable during this time and it’s chile con carne! During cooler spells, my husband and I prefer the soup variant to this chile con carne recipe. During warmer times, we prefer the stew variant when we cut back on the water in the recipe. If needed, we also add in more salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Traditionally this is served with a side of beans and rice, but this is a very filling and delicious meal. If you are watching your carb intake, you will not miss the rice. In my home, if there are any leftovers, we can count on having this with breakfast by adding an egg on top. Sometimes we take it on the road wrapped like a burrito.


  • 5 serrano peppers
  • 2 hatch green
  • chile peppers
  • 5 jalapenos
  • 2 garlic pods
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • Cilantro
  • Potatoes
  • Limes
  • Beef (beef shoulder or picada)
  • Salt, pepper, & garlic powder

Chile Facts!


1. Start off by washing all produce. On a hot comal or hot pan, roast the chile peppers, garlic, tomato, and half of the onion.

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2. While those are roasting and filling your home with a delicious aroma, cut your beef into small cubes if it isn’t already pre-cut. Dice the rest of the onion and brown your meat. Add in your salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Once it’s almost fully cooked, put to the side to avoid burning the meat.


3. Once your peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato is charred, peel excess skin and toss into the blender. Add in salt, pepper, garlic powder, juice from 1 whole lime, and cilantro. Depending on your liking, you can add more water to make it a soup-like consistency or less water for more of a hearty stew.


4. Once you have your blended items, which now will look like a salsa, combine into the same pan as your meat and put on a low simmer. You can yield some salsa on the side for snacking with tostadas while the dish is simmering. At this time, dice a few potatoes and add them into the mix. Here is where you can make more liquid adjustments. If you want more of a soup, add a little more water. Once potatoes are soft, you are ready to serve. We always have extra lime, on the side, to add in our individual bowls.

Recipe by Tess Ortega and originally published in Focus on Carlsbad 2021 spring edition.

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