Cascabel Ground Beef Sauce and Spaetzle

These chiles will add a deep, nutty flavor to dishes and are great to use in salsas and sauces. It is a medium-hot chile that is good in soups, stews, sauces and sausage.

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10 Cascabel chiles
1 large yellow onion, thinly shredded
6 cloves garlic
3 Tbsp minced ginger
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs lean ground beef
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/4 tsp star anise
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 Tbsp tomato paste
15 oz canned tomato sauce
15 oz. water
1 1/2 Tbsp citrus juice (lime and/or lemon)
2 Tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro


Simmer cascabels in small sauce pot with just enough water to cover for 20 minutes, covered. Ensure each chili is puncture so water can get inside. Let cool for 10 minutes. Discard stems.

Move chiles (with water) to a food processor, along with smashed garlic and ginger. Process for 3-5 minutes. Reserve.

In a dutch oven, saute onions in vegetable oil along with beef and spices, over medium-low heat. Stir to combine ingredients and break up beef. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent.

Push pot contents to the side to expose the pot surface. Caramelize tomato paste for a minute. Add reserved chili mixture and continue to caramelize for another minute before stirring to combine with beef and onions. Add tomato sauce, a can full of water, and citrus juice. Stir well, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in cilantro just before serving. Serve over rice, pasta, or spaetzle.

Serves 4-6.