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New Mexican Green Chile Stew

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  • Jim White
    replied
    Thanks so much for this excellent write-up. I especially appreciate the local and family history that went into it. I'll definitely earmark some of my frozen Big Jims to make a batch of this soon.

    Leave a comment:


  • barelfly
    started a topic New Mexican Green Chile Stew

    New Mexican Green Chile Stew

    During my time here at The Pit, I’ve enjoyed reading about the many ways Chili is made and the regional differences. It’s a bit different than what I’ve grown up eating and making as I’ve learned from my Grandmother over the years, and even spelled differently than what we see in New Mexico.

    In New Mexico, Chile is a condiment as well as a meal. Red or Green, or Christmas (when you go with both) - the New Mexico State Question is "Red or Green." You can find chile served with just about anything in New Mexico, and even in how it’s served varies based on what restaurant or home you are at. My grandparents ran a New Mexican restaurant during my elementary school years called Barela’s New Mexican Food, located on 4th Street and I remember staying with them on weekends to help with dishes and then getting to eat red chile enchiladas or going to visit them at the restaurant on Wednesday nights for dinner with my parent’s and sister. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to have my grandmother around and teach me some of the recipes for the food they were known for - Carne Adovada, Posole and their red chile and beans.

    But according to historical accounts, chiles may have been introduced to the region of New Mexico in the late 1500s, early 1600s. It is debated as to whether that was by Juan de Onate, a Spanish Conquistador, or the Antonio Espejo Expedition. Over the years, a wide variety of types of chile have become well known in the state as well as throughout the country due to the ease of shipping fresh chile now. There are over 10 types of green chiles that are grown in both Northern and Southern New Mexico, usually along the Rio Grande Valley, with many being familiar with Hatch, New Mexico as the spot for green chile. Big Jim and Sandia are two of the varieties that you see most when out looking for the chile itself.

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    How the chile dish is prepped, like anywhere, is in the purpose of the dish. Side - then used as a sauce and is really just green chile chopped and cooked, perhaps with a roux and stock, but some add ground beef for texture and flavor. Prepared as a stew - usually cooked with tomatoes, potatoes, maybe pinto beans, and maybe even Posole (which is another dish).

    And even within my own household, there’s a difference of green chile stew in how my wife and I prepare this. My wife will prepare a green chile chicken stew to where I enjoy a green chile stew with ground beef. And this specific recipe is something that a friend of mine shared with me a while back and is our spin on Frontier’s green chile stew, a local hole in the wall restaurant found on Central Blvd. across from the University of New Mexico. It’s a simple 5 ingredient fix, but we have found that’s what makes this stew. Of course you can add more ingredients, but mimicking this stew was his goal, and this is how we have done that.

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    New Mexican Green Chile Stew

    Course - Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner
    Cuisine - New Mexican
    Makes - 10-12 servings, makes a 6qt Dutch Oven full
    Takes - 20 minutes prep and about 2 hours cooking

    Special tools
    I use a 6qt Dutch oven for this batch size of green chile stew. It works great!

    Ingredients

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    - 2.5 lbs Ground Beef - use a ratio of your liking, lean will have less fat slick. I’ve used 80/20 and 93/7. Both are good.
    - 1-2 boxes of Beef Stock
    - 2 sandwich bags of frozen roasted, Green Chile, chopped (I would guess this is about 14 chile peppers in total)
    - 5 Russet/Idaho potato, diced to 3/4-1”
    - 1 can diced or stewed tomatoes (or more if you prefer - I only use 1 despite the photo)
    - salt/pepper to taste

    Method
    1. Place raw ground beef in a cold Dutch Oven.
    2. Add beef stock (just enough to cover the beef by an inch or so. You can always add more liquid later in the cooking process) and bring to a simmer while stirring to break up beef. The key here and what really makes this dish, is the small bits of ground beef. You want to think of the texture of the final dish resembling that of bolognese, so really take the time to break up the ground beef, and this is why it’s important to start with a cold Dutch Oven and water, so that the beef doesn’t start to cook together. The consistency of the beef really makes this dish!

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    3. Add chopped green chile (I add seeds and all), diced potato, and canned diced or chopped stewed tomatoes (now would be a good time to add enough liquid to make it a stew consistency of your liking, if needed).

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    4. Simmer until potatoes begin to get very soft and break down (an hour or so) thickening the stew. If it needs to be thickened more, you cad add dried potato flakes towards the end. I like to really break up the potatoes as well, to match the small bits of ground beef and also help thicken just a bit. Also, notice below the small bits of ground beef here. As it starts to come together, begin to taste and add salt to your liking.

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    SERVE

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    This is where you get to have fun with your green chile stew. Serve in a bowl and accompany it with a few flour or corn tortillas. If the heat is too much, add a dollop of sour cream on top or a drop of honey and mix in. You can also top the bowl of green chile stew with cheese, white onions, tortilla strips - anything you feel like! Some will also serve a bowl of green chile stew with a smaller bowl of pinto beans cooked down a bit and thickened with a roux of flour and lard.

    This recipe of green chile will also be thick enough to use as a sauce as well, so feel free to serve this over beef or cheese enchiladas, burritos or one of my favorites, Huevos Rancheros or chilaquiles. Or go all in and make an open face Green Chile Cheeseburger!

    I think many know, I suggest green chile on almost everything. Brisket Tacos, carnitas, eggs, potatoes, Frito Pie, anything! It truly is apart of the New Mexican culture, red or green - or Christmas!

    I hope you enjoy one of New Mexico’s many versions of green chile/green chile stew!

    Last edited by barelfly; December 13, 2020, 10:02 AM.

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