We did Hatch Chile Salsa and Hatch Chile Lime Wings which were sort of out of the box, so I decided that I would try something a little more traditional for my third cook involving these chilies. What’s more traditional than green-chile pork? No really…that wasn’t a rhetorical question. I’m really looking for answers. I’ve been to New Mexico a time or two, but in all honesty, I can’t seem to recall if I’ve had green-chile pork. I assume I must have, but I’ve got no memory of it, so if this varies from traditional, I apologize in advance, but I am NOT going to apologize for how tasty this turned out.
- 3 lbs pork shoulder, majority of fat trimmed and cubed into 1″ pieces
- 10 Hatch Chilies (we used 5 mild and 5 hot, adjust to your tastes)
- 3 Serrano peppers
- 1.5 lbs tomatillos, husk removed
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 5 to 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 bunch of cilantro
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano (Mexican if you can find it)
- canola or vegetable oil
- Optional garnishes: sour cream, cheese, limes, cilantro, tortilla strips and tortillas
Roasting the Hatch Chilies and Serranos
- Preheat your grill (or broiler) to 500F
- Roast Hatch chilies and serrano peppers until blackened on all sides (10-15 minutes)
- Remove peppers from the grill and place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to cool. This process with help steam the peppers and make peeling the skins off easier.
- Once the chilies have cooled enough to handle, remove the skins, cut off the stems, slice open and lay flat. Using a knife, scrape out the seeds and veins and discard. Dice the chilies and set aside.
- For the serranos, do not bother to remove the skins, but cut off the stem and remove the veins and seeds. Roughly chop and add to a food processor
Making the Stew
- Bring one quart of water and one bouillon cube to boil.
- Remove the husks from the tomatillos.
- Add the tomatillos and boil for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Drain the tomatillos, reserving 1.5 cups of the water. Add tomatillos to the food processor, along with the reserved water, the Serrano peppers and the leaves from one bunch of cilantro, discarding stems (reserving some of the cilantro for garnish)
- Pulse the mixture until your desired consistency is met. Set aside for later.
- Season the cubed pork shoulder with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large dutch oven on medium high and add a thin layer of canola or vegetable oil until almost smoking.
- Add a small batch of the pork and sear for a few minutes to brown. Stir and sear on all sides. Remove and continue until all the pork has been browned.
- Add the diced onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the minced garlic and cook 2 more minutes or until the onions are tender.
- Return the pork to the dutch oven as well as the diced chilies and the pureed mixture. Bring to a boil.
- From here, you have three options, the way I see it. A) Take your dutch oven and place it on your smoker or grill at 350 and allow to cook. This will infuse a small amount of smoke to your stew. If using a Kamado style grill, you want to cook it indirectly. You can use a place setter legs up and then set the dutch oven on top of spacers on top of the pate setter. If you have an Adjustable Rig from the Ceramic Grill store, place it on your Egg with the ceramic stone on the bottom level and then set the dutch oven on top of spacers on top the stone (this was the method I used) or B) You could place it in your oven at 350 or C) you could reduce the heat on your stove to a simmer.
- Every recipe I read, varied on how long to allow the stew to simmer. Anywhere from 20 minutes (that one used pork loin, not shoulder) to an hour and all the way up to three hours. I say cook it until the pork is tender. I think an hour would probably have been fine. I let mine simmer for an hour and forty minutes. Keep an eye on the liquid. If it appears to be drying out, add more water or chicken broth or even some Mexican beer if you have some on hand.
- When ready, garnish with cilantro and serve with slices of lime, sour cream, tortilla strips and/or tortillas.
You maybe wondering why I wasn’t very specific on how long it took to simmer. Honestly, Mrs. G went out of town this weekend and I was waiting on her to get home. So I just let it continue to simmer. It was probably ready to eat after an hour, but the longer it was on the Egg, the more the flavors would meld and it would absorb some of the mesquite smoke from the wood chunks I added. Just one more added dimension of flavor for this stew.
Not to mention, it was a wonderful evening to sit outside. The weather was not too hot. Perfect for sipping on a cold beverage and watching the dogs protect our yard from those pesky squirrels.
While the stew is simmering along, if you’ve got the energy and some corn tortillas lying around, cut them into strips and quickly fry them up. They make a great accompaniment to the stew. And if you need help choosing a beverage, might I suggest an ice cold Negra Modelo? It pairs well with this spiciness of this dish. I recommend you drink it out of a glass and not in the bottle.
Of the three dishes I have now prepared with Hatch Chilies, I’ve got to say that this is my favorite. Or the wings. Let’s call it a tie, but if you are looking for what I imagine to be a more traditional use, then this is the one you want. The pork was extremely tender and the stew was bursting full of flavors from the chilies and peppers and tomatillos. I thought it had a nice level of heat to it, but let me tell you that the next day when I had some for leftovers, it had really ramped up. That’s not a problem for me, but I don’t know how you tolerate heat. Just beware that it gets hotter the longer it sits. I think Mrs. G would have been happier had I left out one or two of the serranos.
As far as traditional goes, I don’t know if it was or was not. I saw a bunch of recipes that included things like potatoes, tomatoes, corn and/or hominy, among other things. I tried to keep it simple in order to let the flavor of the chilies stand out and I think that I accomplished that with this recipe. But hey…feel free to add whatever other ingredients your heart so desires. I’m fine with that.
One of the employees said that they are winding down Hatch Chile season. Tomorrow will be the last day, so this will probably be my last Hatch Chile post for a while. I did buy about three pounds yesterday, and I’ll roast them today, clean them and freeze them to use throughout the year, but I’ll be moving on to other things…unless I have one more in me. We’ll just have to wait and see.