New Mexico

reviewed by twansalem

Many heirloom and hybrid varieties of the New Mexico pod type exist. This entry is meant to include them all - Anaheim, Big Jim, New Mex 6-4, Biggie Chile, Joe E. Parker, etc.


New Mexico 5

The New Mexico pod type of chile is the primary ingredient in green chile, which is one of my favorites.
The real purists (who also always seem to live in a location with a long growing season, enabling them to be purists) insist on growing heirloom varieties such as Big Jim or 6-4. However, if you are a northern gardener like me, and/or have a relatively small garden, I'd recommend a hybrid such as biggie chile. They have a significantly shorter growing season, which means an early fall frost won't interfere with the peak of your harvest, and they have exceptional yields, which means you can fill your freezer with roasted peppers even if you only have 6 to 8 plants. Going with a faster growing hybrid also means you can let some of them turn red. I like to have my freezer packed with lots of green and red peppers every fall.

Making green chile is fairly easy, although a bit time consuming. You need about 20-30 large green chiles, roasted, peeled, and seeded (Make sure to wear gloves while handling the peppers. While most New Mexico type peppers are relatively mild as far as hot peppers go, by the time you handle 30 of them with your bare hands you'll be feeling the capsaicin). Brown 1.5-2 pounds of pork cut into bite size chunks, along with some onion and garlic. When the pork is browned and cooked through, add the peppers, a few roma tomatoes (and ONLY a few, we're not making a standard red chile con carne here, the resulting stew should still be basically green. If it starts looking orange/red, you've added way too many tomatoes). Add liquid: beer and/or chicken broth is my preference, but plain old water will work just fine as well. Add spices that suit your tastes: salt, black pepper and cumin are a must, but you can also add such things as coriander, oregano, or celery seed. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for about an hour, adding water as necessary. There's a very wide range in heat levels of these peppers, so how hot your green chile comes out depends on the specific variety of pepper you used. If you really like it hot, you can always add a few hotter peppers to your chile as well. There's a lot of room for experimenting here. For example, you can try adding potatoes, or substituting chicken for the pork.

UPDATE: A lot has changed in my Chile growing experience in the last few years since RIA has been offline. New Mexico pod types are still some of my favorites, but I've found I can successfully grow heirloom varieties such as Big Jim and still get large yields. Dehydrating red ones also makes for really tasty chile powder.

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Randyman commented 1568 days ago.
My favorite chile!
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By the Numbers