Roasted New Mexico Red Chile Stew

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Here is another wonderful meal for the cold weather we are having. Not surprisingly, it’s full of chiles. :) Just make sure you have some cold beer on hand.

This is a very flavorful stew and is not to be confused with carne adovada, a New Mexico staple dish consisting of pork stewed in a sauce of ground dried red chiles and spices. We will be making carne adovada another day. This chile dish is really another version of New Mexico Green Chile Stew except I used the fresh New Mexico Red Chiles I had purchased and roasted. I like fresh red chiles because they have sweetness to them the green chiles do not have. The red chiles, however, typically have thinner skins depending upon how late in the season you buy them. In addition to using red chiles, the cooking technique is different and we used tomatillos and red tomatoes in this one. It also was considerably spicier than the New Mexico Green Chile Stew but that had more to do with the chiles we received. I cried throughout the meal, drank several beers, ate 2 flour tortillas and still licked the bowl clean.

Now, here’s a tip on cooking with chiles, especially chiles you buy from somewhere else. Chiles vary in hotness from season to season and place to place. In addition, chiles will cross pollinate thereby affecting the heat level of some of the fruit on the plant. If you actually know the name of the cultivar and find someone who sells chiles by the cultivar, i.e. “NuMex 6-4,” “NuMex Big Jim,” “NuMex Joe E. Parker,” “Sandia,” etc. instead of simply “Hatch,” “hot,” “medium,” and “mild” you are also much better off because the cultivar tells you more about the heat level than someone’s interpretation. Also, what someone tells you is medium, you may think is hot. Some chileheads are just downright crazy and have no concept of heat. Hell, you might think the mild are hot. Taste the chiles before you cook with them!!!!! In our case, we had ordered 10 lbs of medium red chiles because we wanted some medium heat chiles to go with the green hot chiles we purchased. They apparently shipped hot. :o Holy Moly!!! We were all rather stunned by the heat but it was so good, you just had to eat it. Following my own advice, I had tasted the chiles before I started cooking to see how hot they were. They didn’t seem to pack much of a punch so I wasn’t worried. I was wrong! :( Whoa Nellie!!!!! Being wrong with something that only requires a few chiles is OK and you will live through the experience. When you’re talking about 2.5 lbs worth of roasted chiles that is one of the primary ingredients and flavors of the dish, now, that is a completely different story!! My chilehead friends would have been proud of this dish. :D I was breathing fire all night. Regardless, this dish is very, very tasty and you will like it, especially on these cold nights we have been having. Just make sure to find the right chiles for your own level of heat tolerance. Also, make sure you have a 6 pack of cold beer handy if you make a mistake in your chile selection. ;)

Ingredients

  • 3.5 lbs pork shoulder, cubed 1 to 1-1/2 inch cubes
  • 2.5 lbs roasted New Mexico red chiles
  • 4 tomatillos, cored & chopped
  • 4 ripe tomatoes, cored & chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin
  • 2+ qts chicken stock
  • sea salt & fresh ground black pepper, to taste

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Instruction

I bought a 4+ lb. bone-in, pork shoulder for this dish. So, the first thing I had to do was debone the pork shoulder and cut it into large chunks. Baby Lady was busy so I lost my handy-dandy, trusty photographer and no one wants to see me butcher a pork shoulder anyway. Keep the bone and fat trimmings because you will want to use them.

Take some of the fat trimmings and place them in a large pot – this is going to make a lot of stew. Fat trimmings may not be as beneficial as olive oil but it sure does help develop flavor. :)

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Render the fat because you need something to sweat the onions and garlic. Oh, and that shoulder blade bone, toss it in the pot and sear it, too. :) You paid for it. You might as well get the flavor out of it.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

After you have rendered the fat and seared the bone, add the meat in batches and brown.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

When the meat has browned, remove and add the onions.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Sweat for 2 minutes or so over medium-high heat until translucent and then add garlic

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

When the garlic becomes aromatic add the chopped red chiles

© 2013 REMCooks.com - These were really beautiful red chiles

© 2013 REMCooks.com – These were really beautiful red chiles

Stir and cook for 2 minutes and add the seared pork back to the pot.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Now, add the chicken stock. You want more than enough liquid to cover the vegetables and meat.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Don’t forget the blade bone.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Add the oregano

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

cumin

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Salt

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

pepper

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Tomatillos

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

and tomatoes

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Allow this to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 1-1/2 hours until the pork is tender. You want this to reduce and thicken, as well. If it gets too low on liquid either add more stock or water. Now add the potatoes.

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

Allow to cook another 20 minutes or so until the potatoes are done. Remove the blade bone and adjust seasoning. Ladle into soup bowls,

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

serve and enjoy. :)

© 2013 REMCooks.com

© 2013 REMCooks.com

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22 thoughts on “Roasted New Mexico Red Chile Stew

  1. Richard – This looks great! I agree with you about the lovely and sweet flavor of red chiles. Being a New Mexico transplant, I can definitely track some down for this flavorful recipe. Do you think that I could use chicken instead of pork, or would that be sacrilege to the chile? Best – Shanna

    • Hi, Shanna. Thanks for the compliment. You could do this dish with chicken if it was to your liking. You could even do it with beef. As you know, however, it really is traditional to make it with pork shoulder. If you make it with chicken you will have to adjust the cooking time. I would also cook the “soup” for a while 30 – 45 minutes (if not longer) before adding the chicken to allow the flavors to develop and meld. I would also drop the temperature to medium low to low once the chicken is added. Chicken is leaner and cooks considerably faster. As such, if you don’t adjust the cooking times it would be very easy to wind up with dry chicken pieces in the stew. Of course, you could cook it until the chicken shredded in the stew. Lots of techniques. Personally, I love it with pork. :)

      • Hi, Richard,
        Thank you for the great tip about allowing the flavor to develop! :-)
        I am not a fan of dry chicken. We don’t prepare pork in our home (we are Jewish) but are also foodies – no dry meat here, hehe.
        Have a great night,
        Shanna

    • Hi, Kathryn. This batch of chiles is almost half gone and we haven’t made it to January 1. :o I have 75% of the green chiles less but less than 25% of the red chiles left. In fact, I may have only about 5% of the red chiles left. I was actually looking at them in the freezer tonight.
      New Mexico green chiles we always buy fresh. Typically, the red chiles are sold dried. This year, however, I was able to get some fresh. How we get the chiles varies annually. Some years we’re able to go to El Paso and I get to go through bins of fresh chiles hand selecting whatever I want. Other years we buy them at the local markets because DFW always gets its fair share of New Mexico green chiles. This year I ordered them online. The shipping charges are outrageous which is why I ordered 20 lbs, to make the cost per pound more reasonable. I ordered the chiles from http://www.chilemonster.com. The chiles were nice and the price OK but there are other places that sell the chiles by actual cultivars which allows you greater control over the flavor, thickness of flesh and heat.
      As for storage, the only way you can store this amount of chiles is by roasting them. You roast them, peel off the charred skin – DO NOT wash them under running water as you lose tremendous amounts of flavor – and then vacuum seal them. They will lay flat in your freezer and keep for at least 12 months without losing any flavor. You then take them out, thaw them and use them any way you choose.
      Once roasted and peeled you have about a 68% yield as there is that much liquid in the chiles. So, a 10 lb order will yield roughly 6.8 lbs of roasted chile. Once you stem the chile and seed the chiles you’re probably left with 3.5 lbs of roasted chile but that really is a whole lot of chile. In this recipe I used 2.5 lbs of roasted chiles which included the stem and seeds. I have no idea what was the final weight stemmed and seeded but you can see the amount of chile used – about 4 cups. Along with the 3.5 lbs of pork and all the potatoes it was enough stew to feed 8 – 10 people easily. To top it off, it had a wonderful flavor. Of course, this batch was hotter than Hades, itself. :o Love catching the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale in the photo. I sure needed it. :D

      • Ahhh Richard, thank you so much for this wealth of information! If there is time, I am thinking to ask my husband to buy me some fresh chiles for Christmas, and then I can set to roasting and freezing them. I really do appreciate the knowledge and techniques you share with me and everyone else! XO

        p.s. (I liked the shot of the Sierra Pale Ale too, good choice of beer!)

        • Kathryn, it’s very late in the season for for fresh chiles. If you are able to find any fresh ones they will be thin fleshed. You can, however, find frozen, roasted chiles online from chilemonster.com. The alternative is to use poblano peppers but they have a different heat and flavor.

        • Ahhh, OK thank you Richard. I will keep an eye out for fresh ones next year earlier in the season. I am able to get poblano peppers here year round, and use them in several of my recipes.

        • Did you turn off the comments on your blog??? I have wanted to comment on a couple of your posts but I can’t seem to find the comments. I realize I am rapidly approaching senior citizen status but…

        • I did not turn them off, but then again, I don’t know why you can’t comment dang it! I’ll go look at my settings again. Hmmm, this concerns me. I have been wondering why nobody comments on my posts even though they “like” it. I’ll look into it tomorrow! Shucks, this is disappointing to hear but glad you made me aware of it!

  2. Hi Richard, I don’t know why but my comments aren’t aren’t showing up so I’m back to comment again. If you want a medium heat would you cut down on the amount of chilies used or use a different type of chili?

  3. I am amazed and a little surprised that you (a) found anything with chili too hot and (b) admitted it here. Very brave. Lovely looking stew too. We are getting pretty cold here right now and something along these lines (with half the chili) would be nice.

    • :D What can I say, Conor? This stew would be like if you took the ENTIRE bag of Sandia XXHot I gave you along with ALL of the Hot and mixed it with 4 lbs of pork, 3 lbs of potatoes, 3 lbs onions, 3 lbs tomatillos and 3 lbs tomatoes. It sounds like there would be enough volume to tame the beast but HOLY MOLY this was hot, hot, hot, hot, hot. :o :o I very seldom make something we all agree is way too hot but this was it. I still have a quart that we are going to eat with Hot Dogs tonight while we finish dressing the tree.
      As for cold nights and warming stick to your bones chow with those beautiful red chiles, you need to find a recipe for New Mexico Red Chile Stew also called Carne Adovada. It’s very, very tasty and you have THE chiles to go with it to make it “authentic.” I would strongly suggest you use the mild chiles with a couple of the XX Hot for some heat. :)

  4. This looks like a wonderful recipe. I live in Florida so I don’t have ready access to the New Mexico chiles in the fresh state. I am going to try this with dried New Mexicos along with some fresh poblano and jalapeno. I am sure the taste will be somewhat different, but it still has to be good.

    You might be interested in my chili recipe. It has been very popular. You can find it here:

    http://constructingalife.com/2014/01/25/bieners-famous-12-chile-chili/

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