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There is NOTHING like a Hatch Chili . . . and this dish gives it an opportunity to 'shine'. For this classic we're keeping it simple, using only the freshest of ingredients. Traditionally, green-chile pork is served like a stew, with a side of corn or flour tortillas, but it easily doubles as filling for burritos and enchiladas. To serve as left-overs, add some hominy to change the texture and taste!
- 3 lbs boneless pork sirloin, fat trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes (not tenderloin)
- 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil (not olive oil)
- 9 hatch green chilies (medium to mild)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
- 1 quart water
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1⁄2 tablespoon cumin
- salt and pepper
- mexican cheese, shredded
- Roasting Hatch Chiles:.
- Medium or mild chiles are better suited than hot, which can ruin the harmony and smother other flavors.
- Begin by washing and drying well.
- Place chiles on a hot grill and roast about 3 minutes until the skin begins to blister, turn with tongs and blister the other side. The key is blistering the skin without cooking the chile. Continue until the chiles are generously blistered on all sides.
- Place in a plastic bag (or covered cassarole dish), seal and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes. Sweating loosens the blistered skin.
- Ignore advice to place chiles under running water to peel. Although easy, the water also washes away the smoky flavor. Simply use your fingers to remove the skin and seeds.
- Slice into strips instead of small pieces, which provide more color and bolder flavor.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven on high.
- Add a thin layer of canola or vegetable oil, but not olive oil, which conflicts with the green chiles.
- When oil is hot, on the brink of smoking, add a small batch of pork chunks.
- Do not crowd. And if you add the pork too early, it will absorb too much of the oil.
- Allow pork to saute for a few minutes before turning with tongs to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan.
- Properly searing the meat seals in the juices and flavors.
- Once the first batch is done, remove with a slotted spoon.
- Add more oil, if necessary, then put in the remaining pork.
- After all the pieces are properly seared, remove from pan, drain excess oil and set aside.
- Add small amount of oil to frying pan and saute garlic and onions until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Fill a large pot with about 1 quart water and add boullion cube.
- Bring to a boil.
- Add tomatillos and cilantro.
- Boil about 5 minutes, or until tomatillos are soft.
- Drain off the water (saving 1 cup for stew).
- Using blender or food processor, puree the vegetables. Aim for a consistency similar to a light gravy.
- Add pork and onion mixture to puree, and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, add the roasted chiles and simmer for 45 minutes to allow the flavors to meld and the pork is tender. Add the saved water as needed.
- Do not cook in the oven; which causes the pork to dry out and shred. The chunks of pork should remain intact.
- Spoon stew into bowls and top with a light sprinkling of shredded cheese, and serve with lime slices and tortillas.