Wine snobs often speak of the terroir of French vineyards—that ineffable combination of soil and climate that produces singularly outstanding grapes. Chili pepper connoisseurs say much the same about New Mexico, especially when rhapsodizing about the state’s Hatch green chilies, which are in peak season right now. Hatches resemble poblanos but when roasted are meatier and more nuanced, with a smoky and sweet kick. Preston Mitchell, whose family has been growing Hatch chilies for five generations, likens them to Italy’s plum tomatoes. “You can grow a San Marzano–type tomato elsewhere,” he says, “but it won’t taste the same—just like these chilies.”
For years, non–New Mexicans have had to settle for canned Hatches. But a growing number of farms now pick their chilies and immediately roast and freeze them. Mitchell, who runs the Hatch Chile Store, his family’s mail-order business, offered to send me some.
Hankering for a pork-and-green-chili stew, I asked him who in New Mexico makes it best. He did not hesitate: “My mom,” he said. Fortunately, Barbara Mitchell was willing to share her recipe. Best in the world? Who knows. But we found it pretty damn tasty.
How to Make Hatch Green Chili Stew
For access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube!
Makes Serves 4 to 6 servings
15 minutes min.
3 hours min.
- 3 lbs pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato bouillon granules
- 2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
- 2 lbs roasted Hatch green chilies (thawed if frozen), peeled, seeded, and chopped, with juice
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- Freshly ground pepper
How to make it