Dad’s Quick Chile con Carne with Homemade Fries and Flour Tortillas

Monday, 17 Nov 2008


My dad sent me this great recipe today and I had to give it a try.  It’s getting cold here in Minnesota, so some hot New-Mexico-style cooking was just what we needed.  This is a quick and easy recipe that you can throw together without a lot of cooking time.  Thanks, Dad!

In New Mexico, what we call “chile con carne” (chile with meat) is basically the same as what a lot of people just call “chili.”  Just trying to clarify, not trying to start a “chili war.”

Dad’s Quick Chile con Carne

¾-1 pound 90% lean ground beef (Certified Hereford Beef recommended)
2 cans plain, unseasoned pinto beans (or make your own, but that defeats the quickness of this recipe)
1 small can diced tomatoes
10-12 roasted green chilies, peeled, cleaned and chopped (medium-hot recommended such as Joe Parker or Big Jim)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 can beef broth (or substitute the juice from a good pot roast or prime rib roast)
2 cups of your favorite salsa (El Pinto or Sadie’s, both from New Mexico, are great for this)
Suggested seasonings:  Garlic salt such as California blend, Lawry’s seasoned salt or Great American Land & Cattle Steak & Meat Seasoning, Hot Shot Red and Black Pepper Blend, Bueno Chile Shakers New Mexico Seasoning, freshly ground black pepper.

In a medium skillet (cast iron is good for this), coat with olive oil, shake in a good amount of garlic salt, and lightly brown the ground beef.  Season the meat with more garlic salt, seasoning salt such as Lawry’s, and a generous amount of Hot Shot Red & Black Pepper Blend.

In a large pot, combine pinto beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies, garlic, beef broth and salsa. Pour in the browned ground beef and put the pot on medium heat and allow to boil slowly for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Seasoned to taste with more garlic salt, Hot Shot, Bueno Chile Shakers New Mexico Seasoning & Rub, and freshly-ground black pepper.


Serve with hot buttered flour tortillas or quesadillas, or with good hot whole wheat rolls.  It’s pretty hard to beat on a cold, windy day, or watching football.

I served this with another favorite from home – homemade fries. I just let the chile con carne simmer along the whole time I was making the fries – probably 20-30 minutes or so.  The chile con carne has enough liquid, so it would take a long time to overcook it, and you can reduce it down to the consistency you want.

I heated the oven to 350 and threw some flour tortillas in a piece of foil and warmed them while everything else was cooking.  I was impressed with the flour tortillas I found at Cub here in Minneapolis.  This was the first time I’d tried Ibarra’s — they were nice and soft and pliable.  If you are ambitious enough to make your own, a fellow New Mexican’s blog called The Joe Review has a recipe for Grandma’s Homemade Flour Tortillas.  I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks pretty good.


Reader's Comments

  1. This looks good! too bad I just ate dinner…Oh who am I kidding, that won’t stop me! Your gonna have to tell me your secret for your pics–there so clear and vibrate. Mine come out looking like my foods been under the heat lamps at Mc Donald’s!


    Thanks for the pingback, and blogroll. I placed your site on mine as well!


  2. Thanks, Joe! Just got a new 10 megapixel camera — that does a lot for the photos! Still learning about how to arrange food to make it look good, though…

  3. Chili con carne is tex-mex really. In all my years in Mexico(5 really), I’ve yet to find chili con carne on any menu.

  4. That’s a good question, I’m not really sure if you would find this dish in Mexico much, especially in the interior. By some accounts, the dish originated in Juarez or Tijuana, Mexico, in the 1800’s, but who really knows. Here’s a link to wikipedia on chili con carne:

    By the way, “chile” con carne is the Spanish spelling of the dish and “chili” con carne is the Americanized/Tex-Mex version, so it would probably be tough to find “chili” on menus in Mexico.

    Chili con carne definitely is a popular Tex-Mex dish, although the version made here probably wouldn’t pass muster with Texas chili purists because they don’t like using beans or tomatoes.

    In New Mexico, the state where I’m from, my family and others we know have always called this dish “chile con carne.” In Spanish it just means chile peppers with meat, and as long as it contains those two ingredients, the rest is pretty much up to you. We especially like using New Mexico green chile.

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