By Jason Amaro
We all look for opportunities to combine our favorite foods in life. For many hunters here in New Mexico, that delectable combo is roasted green chile and wild game. The great thing about a stew is that it can be made at home and then heated up in camp to help refuel after a long day in the mountains.
Squirrel season kicks off the hunting seasons in New Mexico and they provide a great protein base for a tasty chile stew. Like most New Mexican recipes, the list below should serve as a checklist of ingredients that can be added to or removed from, but by no means are the ingredients and the amounts to be taken as gospel.
- 12-15 roasted green chiles, diced
- 1-2 lbs of squirrel
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of white onions
- 2-4 minced garlic cloves
- 2-3 cups of diced fresh tomatoes
- 3 large potatoes, diced 1/2 inches
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons of real butter
Starting with a preheated pot, fry the squirrels in the vegetable oil until they are thoroughly cooked and crispy. Once finished, remove from pot; it will be added back after the vegetables have been cooked.
Sauté the onions and garlic in the vegetable oil. Sauté until the onions are clear.
Add the diced potatoes and tomatoes to the pot with the onions and garlic. The potatoes and tomatoes add volume and a creamy texture to the stew.
Once the potatoes and tomatoes have warmed, add then squirrels back to the pot.
Add the butter to the pot.
Add enough water to cover the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cook until the potatoes are tender. I tend to let my stew cook a little longer as I like the potatoes to break down and create a creamy texture.
At this point the stew is ready to be eaten, but there are a few condiments that can make your stew even better. If the chile is really hot, you can add sour cream to reduce the heat a little or just add a different flavor. Some people also like to add a little cilantro, cabbage, or even lemon to the mix. Everyone has their own twist on New Mexican food, so make this recipe yours.