Slow-cooked spicy, Hatch green chile goodness with tender pork cubes to serve over rice, polenta, or in tortillas... Pork and Hatch Green Chile Stew (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot) is a perfect "set it and forget it" main dish with the flavors of New Mexico! I have included instructions for both slow cooker and Instant Pot.
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.~~ Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
When our circumstances drive us too close to the "edge," it is time to find a bit of "wilderness" and respite from it all. Back in 2014 when I originally published this recipe, we packed up our new "tiny" trailer,"and headed to Hueco Tanks State Historical Park.
We had recently downsized from a 27' trailer with a slide out to a compact folding trailer with room only for the bare necessities. One of my main concerns about the substantially smaller trailer was my ability to enjoy cooking as I always have in our larger trailers.
I decided the key to meal planning on our camping vacations would be in the preparation - selecting simple dishes that require only a few ingredients, packing portions rather than entire containers, and using my slow-cooker or Instant Pot in advance.
One of the food bloggers I follow - Elaina Newton, The Rising Spoon - had recently posted a recipe for Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast with Tomatoes and Green Chiles. I decided to use this recipe as inspiration, knowing I could get the slow-cooker going early, pack the trailer, and take a portion of that slow-cooked goodness on our trip. With brown rice and a green salad, we had a delicious meal with little to prep and room to spare in our little fridge!
🌶 Pork and Hatch Chile (Slow Cooker) 2014 Version
In shopping for my protein, I was shocked to discover the price of beef chuck. We don't eat very much beef, so it has been quite a long time since I've purchased this cut. It was $5.48 a pound! My plan was to do a very large batch in my very large slow-cooker, and I could not see spending $30.00 for chuck.
At $3.48 a pound, the lean boneless pork loin caught my eye. I love pork and green chile. I was hoping the absence of fat would not negatively affect the dish. I used my fresh, frozen Hatch "hot" green chile, and little Cherub tomatoes.
A bottle of Corona, some good stock, cumin, chipotle chile powder, and a generous amount of garlic lent lots of flavor to the dish. The tantalizing aroma of the slow cooker all day long meant I was really ready for dinner when we arrived at Hueco Tanks a few hours later... I did a 6 pound pork loin, so we will enjoy this a few more times 🙂
🌶 Fast Forward to 2019... An Update
I'm cooking for 2 now, and this being a favorite recipe, I decided to update it and make it a smaller batch recipe (still plenty for a second meal). The recipe now reflects smaller quantities. We get 6 healthy servings from the updated recipe.
I have made this tasty main dish in both my slow cooker and my Instant Pot (or stove top pressure cooker). If you prefer traditional stove top cooking, the pork will need 1 ½ to 2 hours to get fork tender.
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- olive oil
- lean boneless pork - I specify pork loin. It is relatively inexpensive, lean, and flavorful. You can certainly use other cuts of pork, or substitute beef or chicken.
- ground cumin
- ground red chile - Use ancho, chipotle, or New Mexico red chile powder. Generic chili powder is a spice blend and usually includes sodium.
- broth or stock - Either your homemade, or a good store bought broth/stock please!
- beer - I use little Coronitas. They're the perfect size. Choose a neutral lager. You don't want to add strong flavors to the dish.
- fresh limes
- tiny tomatoes
- Hatch green chile - Hatch green chile is widely available in the US, and even outside the US. However, if you can't find it, substitute roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped poblanos or Anaheim chiles (they are very mild!).
How to prepare the Hatch green chile:
If you have fresh Hatch green chile and weren't fortunate enough to get them roasted at the source, you can do them on the grill or under your broiler en masse, or 1 at a time on a gas flame (tedious and time consuming!). Most recently, I did them under the broiler because it was 100 degrees on my patio! 🥵
- Arrange the Hatch chiles on a baking sheet. Place on the top rack. Watch them carefully! Turn as they blacken until all sides have a good amount of char. Flat chiles are easier to blacken!
- Place the charred Hatch chile into a covered container. I prefer glass. I have also successfully used a paper bag, but don't often have them. The chile needs to steam 10-15 minutes before peeling and seeding.
- Remove the blackened skins, scrape the seeds away, and cut off the stems.
- A rough chop on the Hatch green chile is fine. You will add it to the pork as it cooks or just prior to serving. Set it aside for now.
How to make the pork and Hatch green chile stew:
- Brown the pork in a drizzle of olive oil.
- Add the tomatoes, onions, and spices.
- Sauté until onions and tomatoes start to caramelize.
- De-glaze with the beer.
- Stir in the broth/stock. Cook according to your preferred method.
- Instant Pot - Lock and cook on high pressure for 45 minutes. Wait 10 minutes before releasing pressure.
- Slow cooker - Cook the pork and green chile stew 6 to 8 hours to attend fork tender results.
- Stove top - You can simmer the stew covered on the stove top for 1 ½ to 2 hours to achieve similar results.
- The process is the same whatever cooking method you choose. Browning the meat and aromatics bumps up the flavor. Don't skip this step!
- If my chile is already roasted, peeled, and seeded, I add it with the aromatics and pork. If not, I start the pork tenderizing while I roast the chile and add it prior to serving (it's already cooked). Most often, I have chile that is charred and peeled and I just need to remove stems, seeds, and chop. The recipe is pretty flexible.
- "Chile powder" refers to red chile powder like NM red chile powder, chipotle chile powder, and ancho chile powder. Generic chile powder is a spice blend and usually includes many other ingredients.
What if I can't get Hatch green chile locally?
If you can't get local, fresh chile (as I often can't 😢), check out The Hatch Chile Store. The quality of their green chile is always fantastic!
How long can I store leftovers?
Your pork and Hatch green chile stew keeps in the refrigerator up to 5 days, and up to 3 months in your refrigerator freezer. Store in airtight containers or freezer zip bags.
Do you have favorites you cook in big batches to freeze for several meals? I love this Pork and Hatch Green Chile, but my Instant Pot Pork Ragu and Instant Pot Mexican Pulled Pork are also favorites...
Keep in mind the versatility of a dish like this one. Wrapping the tender, spicy pork in a whole wheat tortilla is a great alternative when time is in short supply. It would also be fabulous on top of soft polenta or Cilantro Rice. Freeze in zip bags, and thaw as needed.