This is one of my favorite stews ever, and is inspired by one of my favorite places to visit, Santa Fe New Mexico. So is it any wonder that I sent Reggie Caldwell, heroine of my first book, Delicious, to the green chile capital of the world to make this stew?
So before it it gets too warm, get out your dutch oven and enjoy this deliciousness!
Pork Chile Verde
Serves: 6 to 8
Time: 2½ hours
4 lbs. boned pork shoulder (butt), fat trimmed and cut into 2-in. cubes
2 to 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, as needed
3 onions (2 lbs. total), cut into 1⁄4-in. wedges
5 large garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. ground cumin
1 can (28 oz.) peeled whole tomatoes
1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
1½ lbs. Hatch* chiles (about 10), peeled (see tip below) and chopped; or 4 cans (7 oz. each) whole green chiles, drained and chopped
2 tbsp. chopped oregano leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Shredded monterey jack or cheddar cheese
1. In a 6- to 8-qt. pan, combine pork with 1⁄3 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is very juicy, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is evaporated and meat is browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Lift out meat and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium. If you have leftover rendered pork fat in the pan, discard all but 3 tbsp.; if not, add oil. Add onions, garlic, and cumin; stir and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
3. Return meat and any accumulated juices to pan. Add tomatoes (with their juice) and broth. Break up tomatoes with a spoon. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour.
4. Stir in chiles and oregano. Cover and cook until pork is very tender when pierced and flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges, sour cream, and cheese to garnish with tortillas on the side.
Quick Tip: To peel chiles, remove stems, slice in half lengthwise, then remove ribs and seeds. Lay cut side down on a cookie sheet and broil 4 to 5 in. from heat until black and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Let chiles cool, then peel.
*Substitute Anaheim or Poblano chiles if needed.