Ben’s Legendary Green Chile Stew

A video tutorial is located at the end of this video!

This is the most delicious of all stews.  A regional specialty of New Mexico, the favored chiles for this stew come from farms near the town of Hatch.  If they are not available in your area, you can buy them online fresh in season, or shipped already roasted, peeled, seeded, and frozen from either of these two sites:

http://www.hatch-chile.com/

http://www.nmchili.com/why_hatch_nm.htm

If you don’t have access to local Hatch chiles and can’t afford the $10/lb price to have them shipped, you can substitute half poblano chiles and half Anaheim chiles, with excellent results.

The day before I make green chile stew, I flame-roast my peppers and corn over natural lump charcoal.  You will need around 2 pounds chiles for this recipe, which feeds a crowd or gives plenty of leftovers for freezing.  (You can halve the recipe if you prefer.)  Grill the chiles while the flames are high, blackening them on all sides, them place them in a ziploc bag and seal it to steam them.  Toss the corn onto the grill when the chiles are finished and let it roast, turning often, for 30 minutes.  (Don’t soak the corn beforehand, you want the individual kernels to be blackened, which means the husks need to “burn” through.)  When the chiles cool, peel most of the blackened skin from them, scrape out the seeds, but DO NOT rinse them under water because this will ruin the flavor.  Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin.  If your hands are burning, douse them in hand sanitizer afterward, the alcohol helps dissolve the capsaicin that causes burning, and DO NOT touch your eyes, nose, or mouth for an hour afterward!  Seal the chiles in a ziploc bag.  Juices will emerge, and you’ll just add them to the stew along with the chiles.

4 pounds pork butt or picnic shoulder, cut into cubes
2 T kosher salt
1 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 cup masa harina
canola oil

Sprinkle salt onto pork and toss.  Mix spices with masa, then add masa to pork and toss to coat.  Reserve any seasoned masa that doesn’t stick to the pork.  Saute in your pressure cooker or large pot over high heat until browned on all sides.  (You may have to do this in batches, don’t crowd the pot.)  Remove to a bowl to rest.  Into the pressure cooker add:

1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
2 large red onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced

Saute until onions are translucent, then add:

1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and diced

Cook until garlic begins to take on the slightest tinge of color around its edges. Then add the remaining seasoned masa and stir for 2 minutes.  Then add:

2 quarts chicken stock

Scrape bottom of pot.  When stock is simmering, add:

cooked pork
2-3 smoked ham hocks
1 cup dry pinto beans, rinsed (optional)
2 teaspoons oregano

Cover pressure cooker and bring to 15psi and cook for 40 minutes.  Direct release the steam, if your cooker allows this, or run cold water on top of the cooker until the pressure released.  (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, keep at a bare simmer, covered, for 2 hours.)

Open the pot and add:

2 pounds flame roasted, peeled, and seeded Hatch green chiles (or Anaheim/Poblano chiles), chopped finely, juices included
6 Russet potatoes, washed, unpeeled, and cut in 1/2″ cubes
6-8 Roma tomatoes, 1/2″ cube
4 ears of flame-roasted corn, kernels removed and cobs added to stew
20 grinds of black pepper

Bring to a simmer, cover pressure cooker and bring to 15psi, cook for 8 minutes.  Release pressure directly or with cold water.  (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  If you do have a pressure cooker, it may be overloaded above the max fill line by this point, in which case continue the recipe as if you’re not using a pressure cooker.)  Remove cobs and ham hocks and discard.  Add:

2 bunches chopped cilantro
1/4 – 1 cup apple cider vinegar (depending on taste)

Taste and correct seasonings.

At this point, I like to cover the pot and let the stew sit 24 hours before serving.  It lets the flavors meld and it becomes twice as good!

Reheat gently, stirring well.  If the stew is “soupy,” add extra masa, 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly, until stew is thick.

Serve with homemade corn tortillas, or better yet, freshly fried sopapillas!!!

11 Responses to Ben’s Legendary Green Chile Stew

  1. Thank-you for the good recipe, this is delicious, especially after 24 hours in frig.

  2. As a Colorado native I have to chime in 🙂
    Do you ever add hominy? In my mind that is what makes it truly New Mexico style. I do mine with just onions and garlic for aromatics and coriander and Mexican oregano. And just a touch of tomato. I usually thicken mine with corn starch but I want to try your way with masa. I also want to try the pork shoulder most recipes I have seen use tenderloin.
    Do you have a sopapilla recipe you might like to share?

    • Hi, Melissa! Where abouts in Colorado are you? I love that state, I go there as often as I can. Southwestern is my favorite part, but I also love the central Rockies and the Glenwood/Rifle area. Tenderloin is NOT a good choice for braising. It’s too lean, with very little connective tissue, so it will dry out after braising. Seems weird to think that meat can dry out when it’s cooked in liquid, but MODERN pork tenderloin is leaner than chicken breast and it just turns into cardboard when you braise it past Medium. Definitely try the pork shoulder…it will be succulent and juicy with all the gelatin in the connective tissues that breaks down in the braise. I’ve never tried hominy, but I’ll have to! I love blistering the corn over the fire, which would be tricky to do with hominy, but I’ll see what I can figure out…

  3. This stew sounds great. I have to try it as soon as I can get some peppers. Wil al 6 quart pot be large enough?

    also, wanted to add to what you said about not touching after handling hot peppers. I used to work at a spice company as a blender. Mixing the extracts was part of my job. As such, I would end up with the capsicum on my hands frequentlyly. Didn’t burn my hands even though it was listed at 500,000 Scoville. However, even if I wore gloves while handling it and washed my hands after, yes it would go through the gloves we were provided, I would still feeling burning on sensitive skin 2 hours later. I wasn’t the only one dancing after using the restroom either.

  4. The recipe was great. Thanks! I only had one problem. I scorched the batch on the second pressure cook. How do I avoid this next time. Fortunately, it was still edible.

    • JD, scorching often happens in the pressure cooker, because you can’t stir as you cook. If you have the rack for the pressure cooker, you can place this in the bottom after searing the meat. There may still be SOME scorching, but because most of the solids are kept above the direct surface of the pan, you’ll end up with less scorching. Also, make sure you turn your heat down to the lowest setting as soon as it comes to full pressure, and this will help.

  5. I have lived in the Hatch Valley for many years. I have also raised chile for many of those years. I have eaten green chile in many forms. This sounds like a great recipe. I will give it a try very soon. Thanks for the many nice works you said about my area.

    • Hiya, Bill! I swung through Hatch 3 weeks ago on my way out west just before the festival…was sorry I wasn’t there on the festival weekend. I’ve got 20 pounds of chiles to smoke tomorrow!

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