RWT Chili Cook-Off: Working Person's Green Chili Bowl


I recently came across Running with Tweezers call for chili recipes and I remembered that I had the most perfect cookbook for this — Chili Nation by Jane and Michael Stern. This is basically a collection of 50 chili recipes, one from every state. Now normally, when I make chili, it’s veggie chili and I just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot. But, since I had an actual chili cookbook, I decided to follow (well, kind of) an actual recipe.

So, I went with Montana and the “Working Person’s Green Chili Bowl”. Supposedly, it is from a tiny place called El Burrito in Billings, MT. I wussed out on all the peppers, though. The original recipe calls for 6 New Mexico chiles. Intead, I used 2 pasilla chile peppers and 1 poblano chile pepper. Wimpy! I know, but I didn’t want it to be too hot for my delicate lady mouth.

Let’s see, I also added beans. I just really prefer beans in my chili. I used white kidney beans and they worked really well. But, if you don’t like beans, the original recipe did not include them, so don’t feel bad about leaving them out. I also doubled the broth and added the cilantro.

Anyway, this book is awesome. I seriously have, like twenty page corners folded down that I want to try. Why did I pick this one? Well, I was very intrigued by the sage and tarragon in a chili recipe. And, after trying it here, I have to say it works. I’m not sure this is my most favorite chili recipe of all time, but I liked it quite a bit! It was a little spicy but not overwhelming and makes a great meal on a cold night.

Working Person’s Fancy Green Chili Bowl
Adapted from a recipe in Chili Nation (Montana), by the Sterns
1 poblano pepper
2 pasilla peppers
1 big handful of cilantro
2 cups chicken broth (original called for 1 cup chicken stock)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, chopped
2 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into cubes
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can white beans, drained
1 tsp salt
Some crumbled goat cheese for the top
Optional: 1 tsp jalapeno powder


Prepare the chiles by placing them under a preheated broiler. Turn when the first side is charred and then blacken the other side.


Place in a plastic bag to steam. You can also wrap them in wet paper towels. When cool enough to handle, peel away the blackened skin and seed. Place the chiles in a blender with broth and cilantro. Puree and set aside.


Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add garlic and onion and saute until soft. Here, I added about half the sage, tarragon and all of the cilantro. Next, add the pork; cook and stir until well browned.


Add chile puree and remaining ingredients (the beans and the remaining spices and the salt) . Stir well. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook 10-15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.


Serve alone or over cooked brown rice. Also, this would be great with tortillas for dipping and, if you want to be a fancy working person, I think some crumbled goat cheese would be awesome on the top. Hmmm, I think I will bring it that way to work tomorrow. Because, yes, I am fancy.

Hope this is a good addition to the chili cook-off!

3 Replies to “RWT Chili Cook-Off: Working Person's Green Chili Bowl”

  1. I used to go to El Burrito all the time in college. Thanks for reminding me of that little place. It didn’t look like much, but they had some pretty decent food.

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