A little over a year ago I posted my Easy Green Chile Stew, a quick little stew with a few ingredients and one that can be made and ready to eat in less than an hour. Since then I’ve had several requests to post our regular Green Chile Stew, so here it is.
Compared to my other stew, this one replaced ground beef with a sirloin steak cut into bite size pieces. I know, some of you might be screaming – pork! Well, having lived in New Mexico for almost 40 years and having eaten green chile stew with pork, beef, ground beef, chicken, and no meat at all, I can honestly say, that we prefer beef to pork. For any green chile stew, the star of the show is the chile, so as long as you use New Mexico chile, the protein is your own personal preference.
In addition to the sirloin, this New Mexico green chile stew uses potatoes and tomatoes in place of the beans I use in my easy stew, making this a hearty and quite healthy pot of stew. Because it’s a “green chile” stew, it uses a lot of roasted, peeled and chopped green chile. It takes a little longer to make than my “easy” stew, but its flavors and richness are hard to beat, making it well worth the extra effort.
In New Mexico green chile stew is a traditional holiday dish. You can’t go to a holiday party without seeing a big pot of stew simmering on the stovetop. For Christmas eve we usually make either a pot of stew or posole’ but it just didn’t happen this year. So this weekend we were both craving this stew and Bobby got to cooking. The timing was perfect because a cold front moved into New Mexico and a hot and spicy pot of stew warmed us up inside and out. For those of you needing some serious warming up, this is the dish.
If you aren’t familiar with posole’, also spelled pozole’, then you need to check out Vianney’s Pozole’ Rojo over at Sweet Life. Posole’ is a Mexican stew made with pork, hominy and chile. Another delicious stew that’s perfect for cold winter days.
Green Chile Stew Recipe
Serves: 8 (leftovers freeze quite well)
Prep and cook time: 1.5 hours
1 1/2 Tbsp. coriander seeds, toasted and ground
1 Tbsp. olive oil or canola oil
1 1/2 pounds sirloin, trimmed with no fat
salt and pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups crushed tomatoes
6 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. oregano
1 pound potatoes, cut into ½” cubes
3 cups roasted, peeled, chopped New Mexico green chile
Salt to taste
Flour tortillas (as a side)
- To toast the coriander, heat a heavy skillet on the stovetop. Add the coriander seeds, shaking the skillet often until the seeds become aromatic and lightly brown. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and grind. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven medium high heat. Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the sirloin. Add to the Dutch oven and sear on both sides. Transfer to plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic. Saute’ for about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, ground coriander, oregano, stock, potatoes and green chile.
- Cut the meat into bite size cubes and transfer back into the pot along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate.
- Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
- Taste and add salt if necessary. (If you use canned tomatoes, you’ll probably not need to add salt.)
Serve with warm flour tortillas.
This recipe was slightly adapted from Matt Nichol’s Green Chile Stew recipe that was published in the Albuquerque Journal in 2002 (I think that was the year).
Cook time – As with any soup or stew, this will be better the next day or a few hours later. Bobby usually makes this in the afternoon, then lets it come to room temperature. When he reheats it for supper the flavors of the ingredients have melded yielding a rich tasting stew.
The meat – Many green chile stews call for pork, but once we tried it with beef, we were hooked. I save the pork for posole’. If you don’t eat beef, you can easily substitute pork, chicken, or turkey. If you don’t eat meat, then you can make the vegetarian version described below.
The chile – This is a New Mexico chile stew; therefore, the best chile is New Mexico green chile or similar varieties. To read more about the varieties of New Mexico green chile, read my green chile post. We usually roast, peel and chop our green chile in the fall, then freeze for the winter. If we run out (which we usually do), we are lucky enough to have plenty of sources for chopped green chile here in Albuquerque. My favorite source is the 56 ounce bucket from the Frontier restaurant. I’ve listed several sources of New Mexico green chile below.
The tomatoes – The recipe calls for crushed tomatoes, but you can use diced tomatoes or a combination of crushed and diced. We usually use canned tomatoes, but frozen or fresh work fine. No need to drain.
Vegetarian version – Because the primary flavor of this stew comes from the chile, it’s very easy to substitute the meat and chicken stock with vegetarian alternatives. For the protein element, pinto beans work best and the liquid can be either vegetable broth or water.
Toppings – Toppings such as cheese, sour cream, or chopped onion can be used if you choose. Bobby adds cheese sometimes, but I like mine without toppings. A warm flour tortilla with a little butter is perfect.
Calming the burn – Most of the time the chile is so hot that my mouth is on fire after eating a bowl and I need sometimes to kill the burn. I have found two things that work great: milk, and honey, but not together. My favorite it to drizzle a little honey on a piece of tortilla. It kills the heat and gives me that bite of sweetness that I love at the end of a meal. You could also spread real butter on a flour tortilla. That helps as well.