Pork and Poblano Stew

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.

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


  • 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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  • Karly

    Oh my gosh, Elise. I can’t blame you for wanting to eat it all over again after looking at those photos! I’m adding it to my menu this week, for sure.

  • tijuana smith @ po' man meals

    wow! this looks incredible. poblanos are my favorite pepper. the perfect amount of spice and flavor. thanks for this! will be trying very soon! :)

  • Elise Lin

    Yesterday evening I was wondering about pork stew, since I actually only knew about beef stew. And here it is! Thank you for the recipe.

  • Shorthand

    Ooo, this is definitely going on the menu. I love every single ingredient on the list!

  • Rocky Mountain Woman

    I still find myself with some poblanos from the garden, this is the perfect end of summer/beginning of stew weather dish!

  • Jolene

    Unfortunately the local poblanos are gone (I’m in northern Wisconsin). Will have to wait 10 months to try this awesome looking dish. Boo hoo

  • Lisa

    Wow! This was awesome! Definitely putting into the regular fall/winter rotation.

  • Mike

    I’m not familiar with chipotles; all I know is the canned marinade on the ethnic foods aisle. Is there a substitue? Is the ingredient essential to the flavor of this stew?

    Chipotle chiles are smoked jalapeños. The addition of the minced chipotle just adds some spicy smokiness to the stew. You can skip it, or add some of that marinade to the stew. ~Elise

  • Maureen

    If it’s possible to eat something with my eyes, this is the dish I’d want to start with.

  • Donna

    Hi Elise! This stew looks scrumptious. I have a question. My hubby isn’t a fan of poblano chiles. Could I possibly substitute about a tbsp. chili powder and 1/8 tsp. chipotle chili powder for the charred poblanos without sacrificing the flavor?

    The flavor will be different, but my guess is that the stew will still be quite delicious. You may have to play around with the chili powder amounts. ~Elise

  • Pat

    Can this be made in a crockpot? Would you use fewer chiles because of the longer cooking time?

    I wouldn’t reduce the number of chiles. You may be able to make the stew in a crockpot. My concern would be the over cooking of the sweet potatoes. If you try it in a crockpot, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • ocmrsb

    My husband made this last night and it was SO delicious!! He added a little more sour cream to my bowl than it appears you did in the picture, but it was amazing! The spice level was perfect, the sweetness from the corn and potato, and the cooling cream are a perfect combo. Will definitely make this regularly in the cold season!

  • Warren

    silly question, but i don’t have a gas stove. Can I just hold them in the fireplace for the same effect?

    Hi Warren, yes, as long as you are using only wood logs and not chemical infused starter logs. ~Elise

  • Rhonda

    Hi, Elise! What do you think of substituting Anaheims or pasillas for poblanos? No more poblanos here in far-northern California.

    Hi Rhonda! Yes, you could easily make those substitutions. ~Elise

  • Mike

    Didn’t I learn this here? Poblanos and pasillas are the same pepper, the only difference is where they’re grown in Mexico.

    Hi Mike! Not exactly. They are actually different peppers. Pasillas are long and thin, poblanos are fat, triangular shaped. That said, in a certain part of Mexico, ancho (dried red poblanos) are called pasillas. Many people who emigrate to the US come from that area of Mexico. An excellent discussion on this subject can be found in Diana Kennedy’s From My Mexican Kitchen: Techniques and Ingredients. ~Elise

  • mantha

    Oh, Elise, if anything were ever what the doctor ordered! It’s cold and down at heart here in the Northeast after the storm, with another one coming, and this is exactly what we all need. Bless you!

  • Michael

    Sounds/tastes just like a New Mexican Green Chile stew made with Hatch peppers. I buy a bushel box every time Hatch festival rolls around and keep them in the freezer. I buy the hot ones and I bet they’re similar in heat to these Poblanos. Sounds very tasty, I’ll have to try it.

  • Bill

    I made this last night, and we were pretty pleased – the few additions I made were adding half a sliced avocado to each serving, with a lime wedge and tortilla chips. Big success.

    Unfortunately I might’ve reduced the broth down too much – the initial meals kind of focused on the stew as a really hearty soup, but our leftovers won’t afford us the same liquid luxury. Next time I might double the broth (and possibly add black beans).

    Something else I did differently – rather than roasting each pepper on an open burner individually, I broiled the peppers in a pan on a large sheet of tin foil, turning occasionally, and when done I crimped the tin foil into a packet to ease with the steaming and cleanup. I cribbed that from Bittman’s Roasted Red Pepper Puree recipe (http://bit.ly/i8PQ7b), and I find that it’s much easier to deal with multiple peppers at a time that way.

    Thanks for the recipe and website, yummy stuff abounds on here.

  • Chris

    This was fabulous! I used Trader Joe’s Fire Roasted Corn (frozen) which gave a touch of sweetness. I used the larger amount of poblano chiles and I think next time I might even add one more. Question: does it have to be pork shoulder? It took me forever to trim the fat off. I know the meat has to have fat to add flavor but is there a leaner alternative that might work?

    You can also use country ribs, but they are just as fatty. You want the fat for flavor. ~Elise

  • Ron

    I just made and ate your Pork and Poblano Stew. Loved it! It’s like sunshine in a bowl on a cloudy day!

  • Daniel

    looks delicious!

  • Greg

    Amazing!!! Made a 1/2 recipe or so for dinner last night. Didn’t have any oregano so I used some dried cilantro leaves. Used extra chipotle. And, I threw in a can of black beans. Forgot the fresh cilantro, but it really didn’t need it. Oh, and probably used a bit too much stock, so it was a big more soup-y. But still VERY delicious. Thanks for adding a “regular” to my rotation!

  • Heather

    Hi Elise. This looks fabulous! I don’t eat pork anymore so do you think chicken would substitute well? Thanks!

    • Maryn

      I don’t like pork, so I made this with chicken and it was delicious! I’ve made it a couple more times since and love, love, love it!

  • Lucia Rose

    I would like to add a chopped winter squash, possibly in place of the corn. I am guessing an acorn or butternut (chopped and peeled) should need about the same cooking time as the sweet potato.

    • Elise

      Hi Lucia, yes, you could easily use chopped winter squash. I think the cooking time might be a little longer than the sweet potato, but perhaps not. If you try it, please let us know how it works for you.

  • Elizabeth

    This was really great! I would say the prep time is longer than stated, because it does take a while to prep the poblanos and the clean up the meat, but it is SO worth it! I used a pork tenderloin to cut down on the fat, and a can of yellow hominy instead of corn. I was skeptical about the sweet potatoes and pepitas but I added them. The pepitas, sour cream and cilantro were the perfect finishing touch. Thank you for a great recipe! My picky boyfriend raved. :)

  • Sarah

    This was really good! The only change I made was to add some water after the first hour of cooking.

  • nancy henderson

    Thanks Elise – another winner! Discovered I love poblano’s last year and look for recipes to use them in – this was wonderful! Knew I had to try it too when I saw a ‘just the right size’ piece of Berkshire pork shoulder pretty much shouting out to me at the butcher’s. A new poblano fav, right up there with stuffed poblanos and your Chile Relleno Casserole. Thanks!

  • Tortoise

    Just tried this tonight. It was so delicious. Just the right amount of smokiness and spice. Had a rich, deep flavor. The sweet crunch of the corn was the perfect balance. My husband and I couldn’t stop saying “wow” as we were eating it. A winner!

  • Jim B

    Made this last Friday, almost as written, but spiced it up a bit more with an extra chipotle chile, and I minced up two habaneros and sauteed them with the onions. Even did the pepitas, which was a nice touch! Overall, it was better than I was expecting! So shame on me for expecting anything but delicious from your recipes, they always are, and I’ve made enough of them to know! Had leftovers for lunch this week, like chili, it gets better with age.

  • Chris

    OMG! Just fixed this today and it was great. I love color, I love texture and I love bold flavor. This had it all. I followed the recipe to a “T” except for the pumpkin seeds at the end, which I didn’t have. Instead, I used Texas Toast Tortilla Strips (readily available at Wal-Mart), which provided the wonderful texture and crunch. Trimming the pork shoulder is a pain in the patoot, but I knew it would be, so I allowed an extra hour for that prerequisite. Other than that, this is a very easy recipe, and it’s so uniquely delicious. The house smells heavenly while it’s simmering. This recipe is definitely a keeper and one I’ll be preparing often. My husband loved it, also. Five stars!

  • Sooz

    ooh here I was just looking for a pork stew with sweet potatoes, chile and corn — and here it is !! all your Mexican receipes have tasted like my grandma’s cooking; I have no doubt this will too. thank you Elise !

  • Tiffani

    This was AMAZING. Thank you! I had to use anaheim peppers instead of poblano. Not even Whole Foods had them in New England at this time of year :o( Anyway, still turned out great.

  • Sheila W

    Incredibly delicious!!! My husband loved it, I loved it, the kids loved it!! This will be a new regular on our family menu. Thank you.

  • RD

    I made this a week ago Saturday to have for dinner Monday night. I always like to make soups and stews at lease one day in advance. They seem to taste better reheated. Also refrigerating them overnight allows the fat to congeal on the surface so it can be skimmed off. And this one had almost a cup of fat on the surface. But it was delicious. Made enough for two dinners an we finished it off for lunch today. Served it with warm corn tortillas and salad. I plan to make it again when our kids come home for the holidays. But instead of the frozen corn I may use canned hominy instead.

  • Melissa

    This looks delicious! Does it freeze well with the sweet potatoes, or will they get mushy?

  • Hydra

    Very nice recipe. Couldn’t find poblanos, so I used pasillas (or what are labeled pasilla in the supermarket – still not sure what they were!). They worked out well. Loved how tender the meat was. I used the country ribs, and I couldn’t believe how good they were in the stew. I didn’t taste much of the sweet potato, but it probably helped thicken it up a bit.

  • Dawn

    Christened my new Dutch Oven tonight with this recipe. Very good! Thank you!

  • Becky

    HOLY FREAKIN’ MOLLY !!!!!!! My Husband said “I don’t have words to describe it !” We found chapoltle lime pumpkin seeds and used them as a garnish with the cilantro and small cubes of avocado. We used warm small flour torillas to slop up the wonderful sauce. I will make this again and again and again!

  • Matt

    Elise, ur recipe rocks. I made it and my wife and kids think I’m a rock star now! Thanks for the good eats!

  • Kirk

    It’s on the stove now. The whole house smells fantastic! I stuck to the recipe to the “T” so we shall see. Just put in the corn and sweet potato….mmmm so hungry!!!

  • martha

    Made this tonight,and it was outstanding. I will making this often

  • Marya Barefoot

    This was great! Made this exactly as written (because it annoys the bajeebers out of me when I read a comment that says, “I made this EXACTLY as written except substituted polar bear for parsley, etc…). It’s outstanding and I will be making it again!

  • brikers

    THIS RECIPE WAS AMAZING! I almost solely use simplyrecipes for cooking at our house. My roommates and I talk about you, Elise, like we know you! “Well, Elisa does so and so this way, so that’s what we’ll do!” You’re a rockstar. Delicious!

  • Trina

    This stew was one of the best things about this week and I was able to share it with family and friends. I am making it again just two days after I washed the last bowl of the last batch of it. Yummy.

  • Cheryl

    Sounds and looks delicious, thanks for sharing….

  • Cindy

    Is this dish spicy?

  • Heidi G

    This is the most delicious stew I’ve ever made. I’ve probably cooked it 10 times. It’s somewhat labor-intensive to prep but *absolutely* worth every minute. I broil the peppers instead of charring them on the stovetop, then toss them in a sealed paper bag to steam… doesn’t take quite so much attention and less clean up.
    I’ve made MANY of your recipes and they’re always so flavorful and special! Thank you!

  • Amber

    Elise, could you use Russet potatoes? Have you tried it?

    • Amber

      You know what, scratch that! I was hesitant about using the sweet potatoes for some reason. They were great! The whole stew was absolutely delish!! I did add a couple more poblanos and one jalapeno for more heat. I also added 3 tomatillo’s and 2 chipotle chilis in adobo. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly! A keeper for sure.

  • Jim

    I made this a few days ago, and no lie, it was unbelievable! The flavors that come out in this stew are just incredible. Folks, find the time to make this delicious dish…you wont regret it. The “only” thing I altered, as with the way I make my my beans (for Latin rice and beans), is instead of just adding the cilantro at the end when served, I tied a rinsed bunch of cilantro together with cooking twine and keep it in the pot during the entire simmering stage of the recipe. It gives it a great cilantro flavor at the end! You can still add a few chopped leaves over the dish when served.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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! :)