Green Chilie Stew

Hatch chilie season is so fleeting.  They were already sold out yesterday when I checked both the local (to Arlington, Texas) Whole Foods and the nearest Central Market.  Strangely, enough, Kroger still had some, so we grabbed them up.    They are the star of this classic New Mexico stew.

There are many versions of this recipe.  One resource I looked at calls this New Mexico's answer to chicken soup -- both a "cure-all" and a family tradition.  Some variations start with water and boil the pork with peppercorns and bay to make a stock.  Others use jarred chile verde salsa in place of fresh chilies.  Some recipes include potato. But here's my favorite way to make it: 

Green Chilie Stew

10 Hatch chilies
6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 1/2 lb. boneless pork butt, trimmed
1 c. onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 cup flour
2 c.tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 c. chicken stock

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place chilies on a baking sheet and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the oil.  Roast the chilies until they begin to blister and form black spots.  When they are cool enough to handle, cut off the tops, then peel and dice the chilies.  Set aside.

Heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot . Cut pork into 1" cubes.  Rinse pork and pat dry, then add to the hot oil and cook, stirring frequently, until browned on all sides. Add onion and garlic.  Cook, stirring frequently until the onion turns translucent.  Add flour and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, green chiles, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper and stock.  Stir. Lower heat. Cover pot and simmer for about an hour and a half, or until the pork becomes very tender.

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