Green Chile Stew
WHAT? It’s June you say….why…soup….stew…..? WHY?
It’s been kind of cold again in Seattle, that certain chill lingers…and it’s raining. They call it Juneuary. (I can feel your snickering) Fine, I can deal, no sweat, but I really crave all the cold weather foods again…I want Boeuf Bourguignon, I want mashed sweet potatoes, and gooey cheesy gratins, clam chowder, tons of bread, and I want New Mexican Green Chile Stew. This is the ultimate food pickle to me because I can’t get my hands on green chilies. (and really—this is chile specific) Hatch Green Chiles only grow in New Mexico, the real ones, and they are harvested in September. (they enjoy protected status much in the way that Parmigiano Reggiano does or Prosciutto di San Daniele or any number of gorgeous French products do) They are roasted on the side of the road, all sorts from the middle of nowhere to the Target parking lot. They’re roasted in black wrought iron cages that are hand cranked over a fire and when you order a bag they are hot, steaming, full of amazing roasted-charred pepper wonder. The whole of Santa Fe smells heavenly. It was my absolute favorite thing about living in New Mexico. Hands down.
So if you can get your hands of some, by all means, if not- you’ll have to make do with making a Pork and Chile Stew as described (and ask your friends in NM to send you some chilies in the Fall!)
This is not an exact recipe but it’s a stew, so you know what to do..it’s rustic, it’s simple and you’re just letting a few simple ingredients marry and get delicious. And really if you want something simmering away on the stove, bubbling with the promise of good things to come, a stew or braise is where it’s at, whether June or November.
Roast about 5-6 peppers as you will (you would use many more if NM-we’ll do it in the Fall-promise!), steam in a paper bag, remove skins and roughly chop. Clean 5 tomatillos, halve and roast in olive oil and salt until they are soft, but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Set both aside.
Brown about a pound or so cubed pork shoulder in hot fat and set aside. To the pot add in one chopped onion and several cloves of garlic, season with salt, pepper, + ground cumin. Get the brown bits up and stir in good chicken stock (if you have pork go for it!). Add chilies, tomatillos and pork back in and cook and cover for about an hour before adding halved small potatoes and carrots. Cook until pork is melt-y and potatoes and carrots are cooked through….or when the hint of a fork sends them to butter-but not mush. Adjust seasoning and serve with hot tortillas.