We have recently watched Jamie’s American Road Trip. It was a really interesting programme and most of the food Jamie cooked looked so good that we wanted to try it out ourselves. Judging from the title of the programme, I didn’t really think much good would come from it, but I was wrong. Jamie cooks so many things in there that I had never seen before or that one wouldn’t expect to originate from America (OK, I admit, I assumed this would be a programme about dozens of burgers). He also puts some nice twists into old favourites and the same goes for this green chilli recipe.
We have cooked this many times now and it is one of our favourite recipes. I was initially sceptical, because when you look at the picture, the chili seems to consist of mainly minced meat and no sauce, but trust me, it is absolutely delicious, sort of refreshing and easy to make. Make sure you don’t forget the mint and the lime juice at the end as this gives it the nice, refreshing kick. Jamie serves Navajo flatbreads with this dish; the ingredients and instructions are also below. Enjoy!
Ingredients for the chilli:
• olive oil
• 800g pork mince
• 1 teaspoon 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 lime
soured cream or natural yoghurt, to serve
Ingredients for the Navajo flatbread:
• 600g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
• 1 heaped teaspoon sea salt
• 2 heaped tablespoons baking powder
• optional: 1 teaspoon dried herbs or spices, such as thyme, parsley, sumac or crushed fennel seeds
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
How to prepare the chilli:
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.
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 a dollop of yoghurt. Sprinkle over the rest of your mint and spring onions and serve right away.
How to make the flatbread:
Mix your flour, salt, baking powder and herbs or spices (if using) in a large bowl, using a fork. Make a well in the centre, then pour in the olive oil and about 150ml of warm water. Use the fork to gradually bring in the flour from the edge of the bowl, and add another splash of water if you think it’s too dry. Once it starts to combine, wet your hands and use them to really bring it all together until you have a nice ball of dough.
Dust your hands and a clean work surface with flour and knead the dough with your hands until it is smooth and elastic. This will take about 5 to 10 minutes. Pop the dough back into the bowl, dust it with a bit more flour, then cover and leave to relax.
Divide your dough into 10 equal-sized balls, then lightly oil your hands and squeeze each ball between your palms to flatten them slightly. Dust with a little flour as you go, and pat and slap the dough from the palm of one hand to the top of the other. Turn and twist the dough about in a circular movement as you go and keep slapping from hand to hand – each flatbread should be about 1cm thick. You’ll probably mess up a few, but practice makes perfect.
Normally the flatbreads are cooked as you’re making them. You can do this on a barbecue or in a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Cook them for a few minutes on each side and check the underside – you want them to puff up with a nice bit of golden colour. Keep them warm in a basket covered with a tea towel until you’re ready to serve them.
Source: Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s recipe book “Jamie’s America”