Green Chile Stew
December 2, 2020 by Amethyst Ganaway
Having lived in the Southeastern United States for most of my life, I was in for a big change when I moved to the Southwest. I discovered and started using so many new ingredients I’d never seen or heard of before. One of those was Hatch green chile. I’d see it listed on every restaurant menu, including fast food places and I came to learn about the fierce culture behind the pepper and plant.
Grown by the Indigenous Pueblo and Hispano communities for hundreds of years, it is included in almost every meal on New Mexican’s tables. For some time, I couldn’t quite get myself in the habit of eating it regularly even though I am a huge fan of hot sauce and spice. Until one day, I was able to try two different meals that traditionally use the chile – posole (or pozole) and green chile stew. Both are usually made with pork and feature a wide array of fresh, local ingredients that provide brightness to the respective dishes. I don’t eat much pork, but wanted to still make a filling meal reminiscent of both of the soups.
Here, fonio is a great addition, alongside hearty pinto beans that replace the meat that would be usually used, and all of the fresh ingredients used in the dish make for a healthy and nourishing stew. The meal is great with plain fonio, but could be substituted with many of the Fonio Pilafs as well!
- 1 cup Yolélé fonio, cooked according to packaging directions, set aside
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil
- 1 cup peeled and diced carrot
- 1 cup diced yellow or white onion
- 8-10 small tomatillos, cut into quarters (about 4 cups)
- 1 small jalapeno cut into quarters (keep the seeds if you want it spicy)
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and whole
- ½ bunch cilantro (stems included)
- 1 ½ tablespoons diced Hatch green chiles, or to taste
- 1 ½ pounds (25 ounces) cooked canned hominy
- 30 ounces canned unsalted pinto beans, drained and rinsed well
- 4 cups (1 quart) water or vegetable stock
- 3 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo
- 2 bay leaves
- Shredded red or green cabbage
- Lime wedges
- 01 .
In a stockpot or dutch oven that is at least 5 quarts, add the oil and warm over medium heat. When the oil is hot (about two minutes) but not smoking, add diced onion, carrot and a small pinch of salt, and stir frequently until onions and carrots are softened. Add tomatillos and stir with a wooden spoon, cooking down the tomatillos until they are softened, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and stir, cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes. Turn off the stove and carefully remove from heat.
- 02 .
In a blender or food processor, pulse together the cooked ingredients from the pot along with the fresh cilantro and Hatch green chiles until everything is smooth.
- 03 .
Pour the green sauce back into the stockpot or dutch oven, and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the water or vegetable stock, hominy, pinto beans, and remaining ingredients, except for the fonio, and stir well, adjusting seasonings and spices as necessary. Bring back up to a boil for about one minute.
- 04 .
Cover, turn to medium-low heat, and let cook about 45 minutes, or until desired thickness.
- 05 .
Serve over fonio or with fonio mixed in. Feel free to add garnishes or enjoy on its own!