Pork and Green Chili Stew

I love food. Like, love food. Cooking and baking are up there in my top five favorite things. I’d say my family is lucky but really I’m just selfish - I’m kind of picky and like to eat good food myself. Unless you pay close attention to my Read, Watched, Listened posts, where I often read about food, listen to podcasts about food, or, more frequently, watch various miniseries about food, you may not know this about me. All this to say that while this never has been and never will be what you might call a “food blog”, I’m going to try adding favorite recipes of mine every once in awhile. I’d love to hear if you try any of them - and if they become one of your favorites, too!

As far as I’m concerned, soup is the perfect meal. There are variations for every mood: creamy or brothy, chunky or smooth, crock pot convenience or simmering on the stove for hours. Plus, most of them are even better accompanied by a fresh, warm loaf of crusty bread.

I come alive again as the temperatures cool down and it’s once again soup season. (Though I will try to pass off a corn chowder on you anytime the temperatures dip down below 70 in the summer.) I have to practice restraint in my meal planning from adding soup to the menu every dang night in the fall and winter.

There are three people in my house who are glad soup isn’t on the menu every night. Are anyone else’s kids resistant to everything about soup? The texture, the way everything is mixed together, the temperature, the whole soup-iness of it? Nolan will sometimes eat a little, though he tends to just make a mess more than anything. I often scramble to put something healthy on the kids’ plates when soup is on the menu for Tyson and me.

In our house, dinner is a single option. I don’t make special food for the kids if they decide to reject an entire meal. However, I don’t feel that’s super fair where soup is concerned. I already know they don’t like it, but I’m determined to make it anyway. And I don’t care to make a separate meal (which would probably consist of something like chicken nuggets or macaroni and cheese) while Tyson and I eat a healthy, homemade meal of our own.

Enter: this soup. (Or stew. Whatever. As far as I’m concerned, there’s a lot of overlap here. If it’s in a bowl and eaten with a spoon, I’m all in.) It’s easy to prepare a kid-friendly meal with the ingredients from this dish. First, I braise a big pork shoulder in the oven and shred it all up. It freezes well and we can use it for multiple meals: nachos, pulled pork sandwiches, this soup again. Some pulled pork goes into this soup and some gets warmed up for the kids, which I offer up with tortillas and shredded cheese. I buy a big bag of frozen corn and heat a cup or two up in a separate pan (or in the microwave) with some butter, salt, and pepper. I may add some fruit to the kids’ plates if needed. They get pork tacos with corn and we get pork and green chili stew, with minimal extra effort from me. Win-win. I mean, I think I’m winning more, but whatever.

2018 10 24 Pork and Green Chili Stew.jpg

On soup nights, our dinner conversations almost always go something like this:

“You guys are eating soup?”
“And you like it?”
“Oh. But we don’t like soup.”
“You might like it, if you tried it. Almost everything on your plate is in this soup.”
“The meat is in the soup?”
“And the corn?”
“And the cheese?”
“There’s some cheese on top, yes.”
“Oh. But we still don’t like it.”
*heavy sigh to resist banging my head on the table*

Sometimes I top this soup with shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Other times some sour cream.or crushed tortilla chips. Sometimes all three. If I’m lazy, it’s perfect all by itself. And nobody in our house complains if I accompany the whole meal with some cornbread muffins.

I keep promising they’ll like chicken noodle soup, because “all kids like chicken noodle!” I haven’t gotten around to making it yet, but I’m hopeful I can introduce them to the glory of soup one bowl at a time. Maybe I’m setting their expectations too high. I’ll have to report back. In the meantime, I’ll be enjoying all the extra soup as leftovers. I haven’t yet found a soup or stew that doesn’t get better with age.

Pork and Green Chili Stew

I’ve included both slow cooker and stove top instructions, in case you find yourself where I did this past Tuesday night when I opened up the recipe 45 minutes before dinnertime only to realize I was supposed to have put it in the slow cooker 8 hours ago. Whoops. Luckily it adapted perfectly to the stove. You can make this recipe your own in other ways. White beans wold make a good addition, as would shredded chicken instead of pork.


  • 1 medium red onion, chopped

  • 1 7-oz. can diced green chilis

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. Kosher salt

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp. oregano

  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups shredded pork shoulder

  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • 2 Tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca

  • 3 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water

  • optional toppings: sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro


  • Combine all ingredients in slow cooker. Give it a good stir so everything gets mixed up well and the spices are distributed evenly.

  • Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 3-4 hours.

  • Serve with your choice of toppings, if desired, with fresh crusty bread or corn bread muffins (my kids’ preference!) on the side.


  • Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add diced onion and saute until soft, reducing heat if needed, 8 minutes or so.

  • In the meantime, mix all the spices together in a small dish and set aside.

  • Add the diced green chilis to the onion. Stir to combine and saute for a minute or two. Add the reserved spice mix. Give everything a good stir and let it saute for another 2-3 minutes.

  • Add the shredded pork, potatoes, and corn. Stir it around to ensure everything is evenly coated. Add the broth or water and tapioca and turn the heat to high, bringing it to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.

  • Serve with your choice of toppings, if desired, with fresh crusty bread or corn bread muffins (my kids’ preference!) on the side.