The chili pepper, in Colorado where I live now, is as close to a Heavenly deity as you can get without actually being a Heavenly deity. I did not know this when I moved to the Rocky Mountains but now that I’ve experienced the green chili in all it’s glory, I too feel a need to worship at the alter of the green chili.
As it happens, I have this friend, we’ll call him Martin because, well, that’s his name. He’s a really good cook. He thinks he’s a better cook than I am. I don’t correct him but, between you and me, well, you know. Anyway, I grew up in Texas with his cousin Jim and every summer for as long as I have memory, (which is fading some since I moved to Colorado) Martin would arrive each and every summer and we’d be boys. Three Stooges running wild as only boys can do in Texas. Then life happened, 30-years went somewhere and then, just as sudden, we both ended up in Colorado, virtually at the same time, living about a 12-minute drive from each other. Cool, huh?
Anyway, one afternoon while imbibing world class craft beer and shooting pool at The Phantom Canyon Brewing Company in Colorado Springs, he gives me the lowdown on this green chili stew recipe he made. It’s this, it’s that, it’s a richer, darker, stronger, better than sex kind of recipe. Better than sex, okay, now I’m actually listening, what were you saying, green chili what?
Green chili stew, then some weeks later he passes me the recipe and abandons me at the airport in Wichita Falls, Texas. Which is another story I’ll never tell and he promised to take to the grave. Bottom line, the trick to this recipe is to acquire the chilies fresh from the harvest, and right now, the harvest is in full swing.
At my local farmer’s market flatbed trucks appear filled with fresh green chilies along with gas-fired roasters. These roasters are circular in nature, welded with latticed wire fencing and mounted to turn round and round as the fire chars the skin of the chili. When suitably blackened they’re bagged up and sold.
Now there’s all kind of chilies. You’ve got your Hatch, which is a mild variety, the Big Jim, a best seller and a medium hot chili, then there’s the Sandia, it’s hot but not hot hot, then you’ve got the Hatch-X, which will light up a bulb in your desk lamp, the Mosco, probably the hot fav of locals and then, there’s the Dynamite Chili, yes it’s hot and unless you’re a fan of Uncle John Adamo’s Heavenly Heat Red Sorvino Pepper, you’ll want to pass on the Dynamite. If in fact, you are a fan of Heavenly Heat, tuck-in, the Dynamite won’t give you any trouble.
We bought Big Jim’s, found them to be very flavorful and over the course of the last few weeks have bought several pounds, some we used right away, others are stored in the freezer for the colder months yet to come.
Now if you like this recipe, we’re OnePotCookingForMen.com, if you don’t, then the recipe came from some guy named Martin.
Green Chili Stew with Pork
Prep Time: About an Hour
Cooking Time: About Two Hours
What you need:
A Dutch Oven that can go from stovetop to oven
A Cutting Board
1 pound roasted green chili peppers
4 or 5 large tomatillos, husked
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large yellow onion, diced
Half dozen garlic cloves, minced
Pork roast (shoulder or picnic roast), about 2.5 -3 lbs., trimmed and diced into bite size pieces
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2-3 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 cups low-sodium chicken stock, more as needed
1 large russet potato, about a pound in weight, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh cilantro, chopped for sprinkling
Fire up the oven and set it to broil. Place the husked tomatillos in the oven and blacken. Remove and set aside to cool.
Turn off your broiler and turn on the oven and preheat to 325 degrees.
Stem and seed your roasted chili peppers and dice, setting them aside on a large plate. Here in Colorado you can buy roasted chili peppers canned as well as canned roasted tomatillos if you don’t have access to fresh.
Now remove the skins from your roasted tomatillos, dice and add to your plate of diced chilies.
Heat the canola oil in your Dutch oven.
Salt your pork and begin to brown it in batches until it’s all nicely colored, then set aside.
Add the chopped onion and sweat until translucent, add the garlic, cumin, oregano and bay leaves stirring constantly to prevent burning for about a minute to bring out the flavor of the herbs.
Stir in the vinegar, mix well, add the pork back to the Dutch oven along with the chicken stock, roasted tomatillos and chilies.
Bring to a boil then pop into your preheated oven and cook for 90-minutes. Remove and add the diced potato and return to the oven for another 30-minutes.
After two-hours remove the Dutch oven, grab some corn tortillas and serve large ladles full of stew over rice. Serve with ice-cold beer, you’ll need it, and then, thank your Uncle Martin for the recipe, I did.
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