Intro to Pete Marczyk's recipe by Pete Marczyk himselfMy first experience with Green Chile (caps intentional and used out of reverence) was about 20 years ago. I had moved to Denver from Massachusetts, and the only "chili" I knew was the red kind with lots of overworked finely ground beef and kidney beans. It was my first autumn in the Southwest, and I was captivated by this new scent of roasting chiles wafting from the roadside stands with giant signs proclaiming, "Hatch Green Chile War!" Instantly, I was like a dog on point. I could smell chiles being roasted from a mile away. All of a sudden I was pursuing green chiles and green chile stews of all kinds — and they were everywhere.
New Mexican green chile stew
(remember, this is peasant food, so don't stress)
Serves 6 with great leftovers
2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and coarsely diced
1 1/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced
1 pound fresh tomatillos, peeled and diced (canned tomatillos can be substituted)
2 pounds roasted and peeled Anaheim or Big Jim green chiles, chopped
1 pound very ripe tomatoes, coarsely diced (canned is also fine)
4 cups chicken stock
2 lbs Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
Kosher salt, pepper to taste
Optional: Cayenne pepper
Roast peppers in a 450°F oven for 20-25 minutes until the skin blisters. Place peppers in a plastic bag and cover for about 20-30 minutes until cool enough to handle. Remove the skins and seeds from the peppers and discard. Chop the flesh and set aside.
Season pork thoroughly with salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy shallow skillet until it just begins to glisten. Add pork in small batches until all the cubes are browned on all sides. Do not crowd the pork. (We use a shallow skillet because a deep one will steam, rather than brown the pork.) Take your time and complete this step correctly, because it makes all the difference. Set pork aside and save some of the rendered pork fat for the rest of the recipe.
Add two tablespoons pork fat (mo' fat, mo' flavor) to a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and gently sweat onions, garlic and tomatillos until all vegetables are soft. Add the remaining ingredients, including the pork and cook until the pork is fork-tender, about one to two hours. About 45 minutes before you want to serve the stew, add the potatoes, cayenne pepper (if desired) and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm flour tortillas.