Consider the chile New Mexico’s manna from heaven. It’s hard to throw a rock without hitting a place soaked in chile, and in New Mexico you’d be more likely to be throwing a chile than an actual rock.
We were out to dinner at what I suspect may be the best restaurant in Santa Fe, La Choza, when Culinary Assistant Al suggested we order soup prior to our meal. Considering I was planning on ordering chile rellenos for dinner (that’s a green chile, stuffed with cheese, fried, then smothered in more green chile for you newbs), starters before dinner of course seemed like a good idea. Never you mind that I was sure we’d be topping the meal off with La Choza’s irresistible mocha cake, but when the husband suggests adding another course on to dinner, who am I to counter?
Let me tell you, that suggestion of soup before dinner may have been one of the best eating decisions we made during our trip. I hardly ever order soup while eating out. I mean, come on, when there are things stuffed with cheese on the menu, can you blame me? Just about anything else takes priority. But I ordered a cup of their green chile stew, and then later came to realize just about every New Mexican eatery has a version of their own sitting on the menu. As I was scraping out the bowl (with my spoon, not my face, promise) I was simultaneously trying to convince the waitress that out-of-towners should be granted access to what I am sure is a top secret recipe. No go, she wasn’t giving it up. Thankfully, in one of the half dozen New Mexican cookbooks I now have gracing my bookshelves, I found a more than acceptable substitute. Secondly, I’m thankful that my Portland grocery store does a much better job of stocking a variety of green chiles than my Washington one ever did.
This stew is simultaneously hearty and warm and comforting. It’s full of flavor with just enough spice to help warm you up, not enough to make you stuff an entire tortilla in your mouth in the hopes of quelling that spice. Unless you made your own tortillas that is, in which case you may end up stuffing one in your mouth just because. But it’s perfect for that third round of winter storm I hear we have coming up this weekend.
Adapted from Simply Simpatico
Yields 12 cups
8 Anaheim chiles
2 pounds pork loin roast, cut into 1″ cubes
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 large russet potatoes, cut into 1″ cubes
10 cloves garlic, minced
32 ounces low sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 bay leaves
Arrange oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. Arrange chiles in a single layer on a lined, rimmed baking sheet. Place chiles under broiler until skins are blackened, rotating as necessary to ensure all skin becomes equally charred. Transfer to heat resistant bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to steam for 5 – 10 minutes. Remove chiles from bowl and peel and discard stems and skin. Slit chiles open and use the back of a knife to scrape seeds from chile flesh; discard seeds. Coarsely chop chile flesh.
Over medium-high heat in large dutch oven, add cubes of pork in single layer. Cook for 4-5 minutes on one side until brown, before flipping and allowing to brown on opposite side – do not cook through. Transfer to slow cooker, if desired. Add chiles, onions, potatoes, and garlic, stirring to combine. Pour in chicken broth, followed by remaining ingredients. If cooking in dutch oven, cook on low heat for four hours. If cooking in slow cooker, cook on low heat for eight hours or high heat for four hours. Serve hot with flour tortillas for dipping.
serving size: 1 1/2 cups
calories: 210 • fat: 3.3 g • protein: 23.2 g • carb: 20.9 g • fiber: 1.1 g •
sugar: 4.1 g • sodium: 719 mg