Hatch Chile Stew!

Yes, I'm one of those people who celebrates hatch chile season. 
Honestly, as a native of Arizona, hatch chiles have always been an important part of my life. I grew up on open faced quesadillas covered in green chiles (cheese crisps!) and I have fond memories of women on both sides of my family making green chile stew every year, during chile season. To me, it's like making turkey for Thanksgiving, or tacos for Tuesday. It's not something I question or give too much thought to - it's just what you do when the chilees show up at the grocery store every year. 
And yes, living in Austin, we're lucky. We have grocery chains that set up rolling roasters and roast the chiles in the parking lot, and sell the roasted chiles in the produce section.
This is how I buy my chiles - roasted and ready to go. 
They don't sell them like that where you live, or you prefer to buy yours fresh?
No worries - hatch chile season is such a big deal, that local news stations provide how to videos like this:

Our family stew is pretty simple. And although there is some occasional controversy over the use of potatoes (there are those who prefer it without), most of us make it in a similar way, following the basic tenets of a good stew. 

Green Chile Stew

4 - 6 pounds of pork meat (butt or shoulder, usually), cut in to chunks. (Trim and reserve the larger pieces of fat.)
1 tbs olive oil
2 - 3 tablespoons all purpose flour, with an (optional) 1 - 2 tablespoons corn meal added.
8 - 10 roasted hatch chiles
1 medium onion
4 - 5 cloves of garlic, diced or smashed
3 - 4 russet potatoes, diced (chunks should be about half the size of your stew meat chunks)
4 cups beef, chicken or vegetable stock (I prefer beef, but whatever you have in the freezer or pantry will work)
2 - 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, diced
1 tsp dried oregano, or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 teaspoon cumin (or more, to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
Plus, any other seasonings you like  - similar to what you would add to pinto beans or taco meat - dried chili powder, white pepper, etc. I have been using Penzy's Adobo seasoning mix, and I unabashedly love it.* 

Pre-heat your over to 275 degrees. 
Pre-heat a large dutch oven (or other stove to oven safe vessel) on medium high on your stove-top. Add the olive oil. 
Trim fat from roast, and add it to the olive oil. Melt this fat while you cube the rest of the roast. 
Mix together the flour, corn meal and dry seasonings. (Not the cilantro or oregano, though, just the dry spices.) 
Dredge the stew meat in the flour mixture. 
Brown the meat in batches in the dutch oven - you'll need to do it in 3 - 4 sections so that you don't crowd the pan, and everything is resting on the bottom of the pan. Give it a couple minutes per side, flip it, and when it is seared all over, remove to a plate or bowl reserved for this. Remove the extra fat and discard. (Much of it will have melted in to the pan - leave that, and just take out the still-solid bits. These can be discarded, used to bribe the dog, or snacked on - basically homemade chicharrones). 
Once all the meat is browned and has been removed from the pan, add the diced onions and saute for a couple minutes, until translucent. 
Add the garlic and saute for another minute or so. 
Deglaze the pan with the beef stock. (You can also deglaze it with any wine you might have open, a few glugs of beer, or if you're feeling fancy something like Ancho Reyes Chile liquor, a little vermouth or sherry, or whatever you like to deglaze with.)
Add the rest of the stock. 
Return the pork to the pan. 
Add the diced hatch chiles, oregano, cilantro and any additional seasonings you feel would enhance the flavor. (Don't add the potatoes yet.)
Once the stew starts to bubble, cover it with the lid, and transfer to the pre-heated oven.
Bake for 90 minutes.
Add the potatoes.
And sometimes, at this step, I add a few more diced chiles, so that the stew benefits from the flavor of the now-mostly-melted chiles, and some additional, more solid chiles.
Bake for another hour.
Serve with tortillas, fresh cilantro, diced fresh onion, and shredded monterrey jack, cheddar jack, or a mild cheddar cheese. 

*And no, they're not sponsoring me. I wish! Maybe when we grow the readership past my family and friends.....


  1. You and my husband John are Hatch soulmates. He just got loads of these from Trader Joes and is roasting them this week. His favorite thing.


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