Chile peppers are the biggest export crop from New Mexico and NMSU even has a Chile Pepper Institute dedicated to chile peppers. Also, in New Mexico, they are called chile peppers, as opposed to chili. The stew at the pub had some potatoes in it and the special New Mexico chile. I've been trying several different recipes to approximate this stew and at last, I've arrived at one that seems to be like the one at the pub. When working with Hatch chile peppers, be sure to wear gloves! They aren't super hot but they definitely have some bite.
One of the problems I've run into was finding tomatillos that are green this time of year at the local farmer's market. Many of the tomatillos are turning yellow and this makes them a little sweet, that sweetness will change the character of the stew. I was thinking about adding lime juice in the future to adjust for ripe tomatillos when I can't find super green ones. I've also seen chicken broth used instead of water and I may try that in the future.
One nice thing about pork shoulder is the different ways it is sold at the grocery store. I found country-style spare ribs for $1.99/lb but if there is pork shoulder roast or pork shoulder cut as steaks on sale, any of these would work.
This is the recipe so far:
New Mexico Hatch Chile Pepper Stew
1 cup chopped onion (Walla Walla or Vidalia works well)
1 cup chopped celery
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1.5 lb pork shoulder, cubed with visible fat removed
1 lb tomatillos, quartered
4 Anaheim peppers, chopped with skins and most seeds removed
3 Hatch peppers, chopped with skins and most seeds removed
2-3 Yukon gold, red or white potato, cut into about 1" pieces
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pour oil into a large pot* over medium heat and add onion and celery. Allow the onion and celery to cook for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute and then add the cubed pork and stir to coat with oil and onion. Brown the pork and then add tomatillos, Anaheim peppers and Hatch peppers (I broil these ahead to char the outside and make the skin easy to remove). Cover with water and add spices. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for at least 2 hours. Add the potatoes and more water if needed to cover the potatoes. Simmer until the potatoes are soft when poked with a fork. If you like a thick stew, this recipe will serve around 5-6 nice bowls but I believe it could be stretched using more broth or water.
Serve with a garnish of cilantro and grated cheddar cheese.
* If you don't have a large pot like a dutch oven, use a large frying pan to brown the pork, onion, garlic and celery and then transfer into a crock pot to add the remaining ingredients.