Pork and Poblano Stew

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Every time I look at a picture of this pork and poblano stew I want to eat it all over again. This is one of those lick-every-last-drop stews, so good!

Here we are, the first week of November, and we still have poblanos in the garden. Every few days I pick a few chiles, char them over direct flame on the gas stove, let them steam a bit in their own heat, and then scrape off the char.

Usually we eat them right away, sometimes just with some olive oil and salt drizzled over, or wrapped in a warmed corn tortilla with a little cheese.

Pork and Poblano Stew

This time though, we decided to make pork stew with the poblanos, a stew reminiscent of pozole, but with corn and sweet potatoes instead of hominy. Swirling in a spoonful of Mexican crema or sour cream right before serving makes the stew just lightly creamy and provides a soothing balance to the mildly spicy chiles.

Pork and Poblano Stew Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8

Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds make a nice accent to this hearty stew. Use them if you have them, if not, don't worry, the stew will not suffer from their absence.


  • 4 to 5 poblano chile peppers (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed, cut into 1 to 2 inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 quart chicken stock (use gluten-free stock for gluten-free option)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn (no need to defrost if frozen)
  • 1 large (about 1/2 pound) sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes)
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Toasted shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) Optional


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1 Char the chile peppers on all sides, directly over a gas flame, or broil, turning every minute or so until the chiles are blackened on all sides. Place in a bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Let sit for 10 minutes or so, then rub off the blackened charred skin. Cut away and discard the stem, seeds, and internal veins. Roughly chop the chiles into 1 to 2 inch pieces. Set aside.

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2 Heat the vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Pat dry the pork pieces with a paper towel and brown them, working in batches as to not crowd the pan. Sprinkle salt generously over the pork while they brown.

3 Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped onion and cumin to the pan and cook about 5 minutes, until translucent. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan while the onions cook. Add garlic and cook for a minute more.

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4 Add the chopped chipotle to the onions and garlic. Return the browned pork to the pan. Add the chopped poblano chiles to the pan. Add the chicken stock and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and let cook for 1 hour. After an hour, add the diced sweet potato and corn to the stew. Cook for another half hour to 45 minutes, until the pork is tender and the sweet potatoes are cooked through.

To serve, spoon out the stew into bowls. Swirl in a spoonful of sour cream to each bowl. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and toasted shelled pumpkin seeds.

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Pork and Poblano Stew

Showing 4 of 48 Comments

  • Shmaze

    I’ve made this stew at least 15 times over the course of the past few years (happen to be making it again tonight) and each time it’s a serious hit. I live in LA and will do multiple weather forecast checks a week beginning in October to see how soon I can start making. Such a great, easy meal for when you have guests over. I like adding two or three (or four) serrano chilis to the mix…fresh, seeds and all. Also, I typically never de-seed the poblanos but I tend to like the extra spice kick (I’m Peruvian and am well aware I have an abnormally high tolerance for spice). When adding the chilis in adobo sauce, I just pull one out of the can at a time, hold it over the slow cooker and cut them up with kitchen scissors. Works well if you don’t have time to mince. Also, Salvadorean cream is a great sub in place of regular sour cream or Mexican cream (which is just slightly thinner in consistency). Pretty much the same but has a bit of a salty, creamier kick in my opinion. Off to the grocery store I go! Thank you Elise for making this a lifetime staple in our home! :)

  • Stephanie

    I changed the recipe a little because my family will not eat sweet potato. I added some canned diced tomates and pepers, black beans and shoe peg corn. So yummy! I use an easy trick for the poblanos. I broil them on all sides until they are blistered and place them in a ziplock bag and seal. The outside skin of the peppers slide off once they are cooled. It is snowing in the deep south and my family is waiting for the soup to be ready to eat. The house meals wonderful with all the different spices and flavors. Thank you for the great idea!

  • Nancy Beauchemin

    Awesome recipe! Definitely, the cilantro and toasted shelled pumpkin seeds are a must. I used 2x chipotle peppers. I prefer poblano a to be mushy so I followed the recipe here. I’m not a big fan of sweet potatoes, so I mashed them up in the pot and it made it more like a potage. This soup is sweet and spicy! It was perfect. I don’t want to share it.

  • Mike

    This is an amazing stew and a great recipe. I’ve made it many times and have made a few changes over time that I think add value. Still, it’s very good the way it is origionally offered.

    I add a can of Goya pinto beans when I add the corn. More on the same theme, right?

    I also use more of the chipotle in adobo than this recipe calls for and I also add some of the adobo sauce. I like it smokey and spicy. So, at least 3 peppers rather than one.

    I don’t add the roasted poblano peppers and sweet potato until about the last half hour of cooking. Too early and they get mushy. Plus, this stew holds up well for days in the fridge so you want the peppers and sweet potato to be there too.

    Lastly, I skip the sour cream. I’ve tried it but I don’t think it works as well, or maybe I put in too much. It’s perfect without it.

    Personally I think the pumpkin seeds and cilantro are a must. They make this dish. I use Tamar coated seeds from Wegmans. Awesome.

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve turned many friends on to this site and stew.

  • Sam

    I’m a couple years late in making this, but so glad I found it. It was spicy, warming to the belly and simply wonderful! My boyfriend kept raving about it. I loved the sweet potato and the sweet corn. Thanks!

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