Food You Can Eat: Red Chile Stew

More New Mexican Cuisine for the masses

Of course I made the tortillas myself. I'm not buying that Ortega shit.

First things first:  During my years living in New Mexico, I was so enamored with green chile stew that I never gave red chile stew a try.  After getting a couple pounds of stew meat from Butcher Box I decided that now was as good a time as any.  Seeing as I don’t have a recipe of my own, I took this one from Tasting New Mexico by Bill and Cheryl Alters Jamison.

A caveat before we get started: You can’t just use that garbage “chili powder” that is in the grocery stores.  Firstly, because it’s flavorless shit.  Secondly because you need a lot of it—more than a single jar of McCormack’s can give you.  Fortunately, Bueno Foods of New Mexico does ship their various and sundry products anywhere, so you can get real red chile powder.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Olive Oil

2 Lbs. Stew Meat

2 Med. Onions, chopped

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

4 C. Beef Stock

¾ C. New Mexican Red Chile Powder

2 tsp. Salt

1 ¼ tsp. Mexican Oregano, dried

1 Can Pinto Beans, drained (personally, I would use dried beans, but I’m sticking with the book on this one just to see how it works out)

1 Lg. Russet Potato, diced

Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Warm the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and sear the meat.  Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions turn translucent.  Pour in the stock to deglaze the pot and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom.  Stir in the chile, salt, and oregano and reduce the heat to very low.  Cover and cook for two hours, stirring every half hour.

Mix in the beans and potato and continue cooking, uncovered, for an additional 30 minutes or until the meat and potato are both very tender and the consistency has gone from soupy to thicker and more stew-like.  Stir up from the bottom a few times to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Serve in bowls topped with cheese and a flour tortilla.

As with most soups/stews, this is better the next day after everything has had a chance to meld together.  It’s a good recipe, but I will very likely make certain adjustments the next time I do this.

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9 Comments

  1. It looks delicious. How spicy is it, on the Scoville scale, would you guess? 3/4 cup of chili powder sounds like . . . a lot. As I’ve gotten older I like spiciness more, but my stomach likes is less.

    • So, the main reason why you’ll never see that in a New Mexican restaurant is because dried red chiles are very tough–basically impossible to chew.  So, that’s why red chile sauce is much smoother than green chile and why red chile powder is more prevalent than green chile powder.  Green chiles are typically not dried but roasted and prepared fresh.  I don’t make the rules, but I wouldn’t change them if I could.

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