Food You Can Eat: Green Chile Stew

Probably my favorite dish of all time

Why yes, those tortillas are homemade.

First things first:  I love green chile stew.  I hate beef stew, but I love green chile stew.  That being said, this particular recipe is not what you will find in any New Mexican restaurant.  This recipe was developed by my father, who was a excellent chef but was a terrible human being.  He had thought about the common recipes found in most restaurants and realized the use of regular white potatoes isn’t something that either a native or a Spanish settler would encounter once upon a time.  So, he came up with a few changes that would more accurately reflect the diet of the time while still maintaining a modern flavor. Also: this is NEW MEXICAN food, not Mexican food. I don’t care what the tag says.

A caveat before we get started:  Most of my green chile harvest has been going towards canning a shitload of salsa.  As the yield has slowed near the end of the growing season, I’ve had to wait until I had enough chiles to make this recipe.  So, a little over half of the chiles had turned red by the time I had all I needed.

Here’s what you’ll need:

3 Lbs. Ground Pork

Green Chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced

2 Cups Pinto Beans, dried

1 Sm. Can Diced Tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes to work down my harvest)

1 Lg. Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed

2 Lg. Onions, chopped

4 Cloves Garlic, crushed or grated

Seasonings to taste:

Cumin, Oregano, Salt, Black Pepper, Red Chile Powder, Cayenne Pepper

1 Bag Frozen Corn

Brown pork in a large pot with a little oil.  Drain the fat when cooked.

Add equal parts green chiles and water.  Add pinto beans, tomatoes, sweet potato, onions and seasonings.

You can see almost every ingredient listed.

Cook, covered, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until pintos are al dente and potato is soft.  Taste periodically to adjust seasonings.

Almost there…

When ready, turn off heat, add frozen corn and stir.

A masterpiece.

Serve with shredded cheese and flour tortillas.  The purpose of the flour tortilla is to mitigate the heat from the green chiles.  If you’re eating something spicy, water doesn’t help you.  This is why, at any New Mexican restaurant, they will always serve flour tortillas with your entrée.

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  1. Very nice – and I bet it freezes well if you make a big batch.

  2. Probably, but I’ve never bothered freezing it.  I just eat the whole thing.

    • Especially because stews get even better over a few days in the fridge!

  3. A PSA: Rice does the same thing as tortillas to tamp down spices. If you bite into a nice hot pepper the worst thing you can do is drink water; I think it only stimulates the taste buds more. Learned that the hard way the first time I went to a Szechuan restaurant decades ago and had actual Szechuan food.

    Have you ever made something with chiles so potent that you needed to wear gloves to work with them? They’re kind of like a culinary wonder. Who was it who finally discovered that though you instinctively feel they might be poisonous you could use them in a combo and make your food better, not worse? Must have been millennia ago.

    • Hominy is another good one. For reasons I don’t understand, my local  grocery stores have a very ambiguous relationship with it, despite an obvious demographic connection, and can’t be counted on stocking it.

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