Green Chile Pork Stew is a spicy, hearty dish with roots in Mexican and New Mexican cuisine.
Wisconsin's normally hot and humid summer weather has been punctuated this year with several days of unseasonably cool—almost fall-like—temperatures.
Last week, I found myself sitting on my 3-season porch wearing a sweatshirt, with a plush blanket draped over my legs. The upside of these cooler days is that they give me the perfect excuse to make soups and stews that would normally not make their appearance until fall!
Green Chile Pork Stew is based on a Mexican dish called caldito or caldillo. New Mexico—particularly in the region surrounding Santa Fe—adopted, evolved, and made the stew its own regional dish, featuring the incomparable Hatch green chile.
My easy-to-make version of caldillo
I love to use a work-ahead strategy to make this stew: by completing the searing and deglazing steps the night before, I can put everything in the slow-cooker the next morning—easy, peasy.
For my spin on traditional Green Chile Pork Stew, I use a mix of roasted poblano and jalapeño peppers, since I can't usually find Hatch chiles.
If you don't want to deal with roasting the chiles yourself, you can substitute canned roasted chiles (I'd estimate that 2 of the little tins of roasted green chiles are the equivalent of about 1 poblano pepper).
In this version of Green Chile Pork Stew, I've added a South American touch by incorporating yuca root with the traditional vegetables.
What is yuca??
Yuca (pronounced You-ka) is much like a potato in the final analysis, but with a creamier texture and an almost buttery flavor.
However, they're not closely related. While potatoes belong to the nightshade family along with tomatoes and eggplant (yes, really!), yuca is a member of the spurge family.
It has a gnarlier, woodier skin than potatoes, which you have to completely peel off (a potato peeler is just fine for this job).
The root also tends to have a fibrous core that needs to be cut out during prep.
Although I was stoked to see yuca root in the produce department at my local grocery store, the checkout clerk was less than thrilled to see it at her register.
Yuca root is also known as cassava, mandioca, or manioc (among other names).
None of these were in the computer.
It took some doing to track down someone who knew what the root was and how to code it in. I'm happy to report, though, that when I bought yuca again yesterday, someone had helpfully written the number into the code book.
In all honesty, I wasn't sure how the addition of yuca would fly with the fam.
I said, "pick them out if you don't like them."
As it turned out, the yuca was a hit—at least with the three Franks who were home and eating Green Chile Pork Stew that night!
Other slight flavor/simplicity adjustments...
I've also added a bit of cumin seed to my version of Green Chile Pork Stew: I'm a big fan of not having every bite taste exactly the same, and the unexpected pop of flavor you get with the softened cumin seed is amazing. Feel free to leave it out if that idea doesn't appeal to you.
I can't get Hatch chiles in Wisconsin—except in cans, and on the extremely rare occasions when they're in season and my local grocery ships them in. I use roasted poblanos as a substitute. If you can get Hatch green chiles, though, go for it!
I love to serve the Green Chile Pork Stew with warm tortillas, chopped cilantro, avocado slices, and grated cheese. I swirl a small spoonful of sour cream through the stew to knock the flavor out of the park.
This meal lends itself well to the make-ahead strategy in the Flipped-Out Food Playbook: if you make Green Chile Pork Stew one or even two days in advance, the flavors marry and deepen.
Alternatively, Green Chile Pork Stew is a great cooking project to have "running in the background" for anyone working from home. I've made the stew in the pressure-cooker and slow-cooker, as well as on the stovetop. I'm partial to the slow-cooker method, which is what I'll relate here.
I just know you'll love this comforting stew. Enjoy the beautiful weather!
If you're looking for more Latin American-inspired recipe ideas, check out my Mexican-Inspired Recipes for Cinco de Mayo!
I'm linking this recipe up to #CookBlogShare at Recipes Made Easy, #CookOnceEatTwice at Searching for Spice, and #BrillBlogPosts at Honest Mum: check them out for great recipes and much more!
Caldillo: Green Chile Pork Stew
Green Chile Pork Stew is a hearty meal with roots in Mexican cuisine and the regional food of Sante Fe, New Mexico. It's a great stew to make 1-2 days in advance, since the flavors marry and deepen as the stew sits.
FOR THE STEW
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 ~3 lb. boneless pork shoulder butt roast, trimmed and cut into ~1" cubes
- 2 roasted poblano peppers*, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 roasted jalapeño pepper*, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 large Vidalia onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, coarsely minced
- 1 cup baby carrots, sliced ~¼" thick on the bias
- ½ cup baby potatoes, quartered**
- ½ cup yuca***, peeled and diced into ~½" cubes**
- 4 cups beef or chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp. dried Mexican oregano
- ½ tsp. salt, or to taste
- ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
- warm tortillas
- chopped cilantro
- thinly sliced jalapeño
- sliced avocado
- sour cream
- grated cheese
- Dry the pork with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Set a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add ¼ of the pork cubes. Brown on all sides, then remove to a bowl and add the next small batch of meat cubes. Repeat until all meat cubes have been browned, adding more oil as necessary.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are slightly translucent and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to high and add the cumin seeds. Stir for 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the beef broth, scraping to loosen the browned bits on the bottom of the pot.
- Add the browned pork, onion and broth mixture, remaining broth, water, salt and pepper, and bay leaves to the crock of a slow-cooker. Cover and set on low for 7 hours.
- Prep and cook the carrots, potatoes, and yuca, either steaming or parboiling until easily pierced with a paring knife (or see work-ahead in the notes). Add to the slow-cooker along with the roasted peppers and Mexican oregano. Turn slow-cooker to high for 15-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Check seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. Serve.
*You can substitute 1-2 small cans of roasted green chiles.
**Yuca root has a fibrous cord at the very center that can be tough to eat (see this nice prepping tutorial at Food52). Be sure to remove it.
Work-ahead: you can roast and peel the peppers, steam the potatoes, carrots, and yuca, and prepare the stew through step 4 one day in advance. Store the meat, onion, garlic, and broth in a container in the refrigerator. Store the roasted peppers and steamed/parboiled vegetables in a separate, airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1 bowl (~2 cups)
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g
Pork Salsa Verde: Crockpot Pork Salsa Verde: tender and juicy, with Mexican-inspired flavors. The leftovers are great in enchiladas!
Vintage Beef Stew: An easy recipe for the classic beef stew recipe we all love, with a hearty, complex broth--but without the floppy vegetables!
Green Chile Chicken Pozole: my spin on the traditional Mexican soup, Pozole Verde de Pollo. The soup is bursting with flavor, but done in under 40 minutes!
This sounds so delicious and again really jealous of the chiles you can get! I have to order them from specialist Mexican shops in London.
Really looking forward to reading more of your recipes because it looks like you love Mexican food! x
Thanks so much, Cat! Wow, I can't imagine having to special-order chiles. Bummer! And yes, I do love Mexican food—and spicy food in general!
It sounds so full of flavour! I've never tried yuca but I'd love to and all the other ingredients in there must make this such a lovely warming dish. Thanks for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice
Thanks, Corina!! It's already full-fledged fall weather here, so I'm making this again soon!
I love that you love Mexican! It's such a joy coming to your blog and reading! This stew looks amazing! It has been ridiculously cold here too, on and off! Totally has a fall feeling and my tomatoes hate it!
Aw, thank you, Beth!! I do love me some Mexican food. 😉 My tomatoes are also not happy campers. Let's hope they pull through!!
Patty @pattysaveurs.com says
What a delicious pork stew Michelle, I never knew that manioc (that's how we call it) was Yucca root, learned something today, thanks! 🙂
Thank you, Patty! It's actually "yuca", which is confusing because the word looks so much like "yucca"—the ornamental plant in the Southwest here in the states (no edible roots!). I hope you love the stew. Thanks for stopping by!
Yep we are having the same problem with out summer in the UK too. This dish sound really interesting and I know my boys would love it they love spicy foods but im a bit of a chilli wimp! None the less really interesting reading all your information about it. Thank you for linking to #CookBlogShare
Thank you so much, Jacqui! The poblanos are not nearly as spicy as the Hatch green chiles—you can also leave out the roasted jalapeño to tone it down even more.
Jo Allison / Jo's Kitchen Larder says
Your recipe sounds soo good. We have just got back from week long camping trip and the weather was on a chilly and wet side to say the least 🙁 All I crave now are recipes just like this one! Pinned! x
Thank you, Jo! There's nothing like hot stew to warm you up after a soggy fishing trip!
This looks so flavorful, and I love that I can do some of the prep the night before. Can't wait to try it when the weather gets cool here - should be perfect for our annual Halloween party too!
Thanks, Jenn! Yes, I could totally see this dish at a Halloween party!
jenny walters says
Love the sound of this.I have a real thing for slow cooked pork and this is definitely one I will pin.We are having fall weather here too! August, Schmaugust!
Thanks so much, Jenny! August, Schmaugust indeed! 🙂
sue | theviewfromgreatisland says
I always start to crave comfort food in August, and this is just perfect for the menu this week. I love the rich flavor of the poblanos!
Thank you, Sue! I think we're kindred spirits in that regard!
Jeni @ Biscuits & Booze says
I love yuca, and yes it's starting to become more common in grocery stores here too. I also think the cumin in this soup sounds brilliant. I can almost taste that nuance now.
Ooohh, thank you Jeni!! I'm glad you can find yuca in your grocery. It's such a wonderful ingredient!
Lisa | Garlic & Zest says
I've seen yuca in the produce section before, but never knew what to do with it. It sounds fabulous in this stew. My pork stew is usually loaded with hatch chiles -- do you think the yuca would be good in that?
Hi, Lisa! I would say that anything you'd normally use potatoes in would be awesome with yuca: I usually go half-and-half. Hatch chiles are AMAZING, aren't they? Especially when you can get them freshly roasted out of those hand-cranked roasters that you see all over New Mexico at about this time of year (well, it's a bit early yet, I'd guess). Thanks for stopping by!
Calleigh - TheForkBite says
I missed this chile pork stew, a perfect comfort food once the weather gets cold.