green chilli

chilli is something which i’ve enjoyed trying different versions of – beef and pork chilli with tomatoes and beef chilli without tomatoes (i preferred the version without but that is probably due to lots of other refinements i made with that recipe), white chilli (a much-loved and regularly-cooked vegetarian bean chilli from simon rimmer) and now, green chilli.

this jamie oliver recipe caught my eye due to the way jamie describes the dish:

“this green chilli is so delicious, simple to make and a total pleasure to eat. in england, we’re sort of brainwashed into thinking of chilli as just being chilli con carne, but this is completely different and i absolutely love it. i think it’s cleaner, braver and fresher than your average chilli.”

his description about it being “cleaner, braver and fresher” was the appealing factor – this is what i love about the white chilli.

the resulting dish wasn’t as wonderful as i’d hoped – i think it needs more herbs and i’d try to cook the peppers for less time so they retain a bit more of their flavour and bite (perhaps add them just before the tomatoes go in). i didn’t have any pork mince in so i chopped my own and i don’t think this did the dish any favours either – next time i will use mince and see how it compares. the recipe does have the makings of something delicious but, if you try it, tweak things about a bit. i’ll update this post if i work out a definitive version!

jamie oliver’s green chilli (serves 4)

olive oil

800g pork mince (the best quality you can afford)

1 tsp dried sage

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced

2 green peppers, deseeded and roughly chopped

6 small green chillies, roughly chopped

4 large, ripe, red tomatoes, chopped into small chunks

1 romaine lettuce, leaves washed and spun dry

a small bunch of fresh mint

4 spring onions

1 packet of flour tortillas

1 lime (optional)

sour cream or natural yoghurt, to serve

put a large pan on a high heat and add a little olive oil. add the pork mince, dried sage and a good pinch of salt and pepper. use a wooden spoon to break the meat up a bit and stir it about, then cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. add your onions, garlic, peppers and chillies, stir everything together, then fry for 15 minutes on a high heat until any liquid from the pork has evaporated and everything is starting to turn golden. when it looks good, stir in your chopped tomatoes and half a glass of water. remember that it’s supposed to be quite dry (in a really wholesome and nice way), not stewy and wet, so don’t add too much water.

turn the heat down to medium and let it tick away for 10 minutes or so while you wash and roughly chop up the lettuce. pick the leaves from the bunch of mint and roughly chop them. trim and finely slice your spring onions.

when you’re ready to serve your chilli, warm your tortillas in the oven at 180c/350f/gas mark 4 for a few minutes or in a dry pan for 30 seconds. taste your dense chilli. more than likely it will need another good pinch of salt and pepper. if you want to give it a nice fresh edge, you can squeeze in the juice of a lime. stir in half your chopped mint.

push a warm tortilla or flatbread into each of your little bowls and spoon some delicious green chilli on top of each one. top with your chopped lettuce and your dollop of soured cream or yoghurt. sprinkle over the rest of your mint and your spring onions and serve right away with some cold beers.