About thirteen years ago, we spent nine months living in New Mexico in our motorhome. Most of that time was in Santa Fe, but we moved down near the Bosque del Apache Preserve at the end of January when it got REALLY cold in Santa Fe.
As you know, we don’t eat out much, but when we did, I was always intrigued by the menu item called Green Chile Pork Stew. Since I don’t really care for hot food, and in a restaurant one never knows what they consider hot, I never ordered this delicious dish. More’s the pity.
Having a good supply of freshly-roasted Hatch chile peppers on hand, last week I tried making it myself, but was careful to omit the Hatch chiles. I cut one up into bits and served it separately for others to enjoy!
I must admit that the taste was every bit as delicious as the above picture would indicate. I had not quite two pounds of boneless pork chunks which cooked up beautifully tender in the Crock-Pot.
As usual, I started with a written recipe recommended by someone’s blog, and usually I follow a recipe fairly closely (the first time!), but this time, it just seemed that without the spectre of fiery chile peppers, the whole of it would be sort of bland. So I went ahead and added some of my own spices to compensate.
Not having had a taste of an authentic version, I can only say that what I came up with was spectacular. We were pleased to find that there was sufficient quantity to feed us dinner on four non-contiguous nights. It was so good, we weren’t afraid to enjoy it frequently.
There is still a fair amount of the veggies and gravy/sauce left, with a few shreds of the meat, so I will find something to add to it for protein. I have a big supply of frozen pre-roasted boneless chicken thigh meat, so that would work. Or we could use it as an embellishment for something.
DH loves this sort of thing over sourdough bread, so that may take care of the problem. He has already enjoyed it that way on one night’s appearance. We had it over Yukon Gold potatoes the first night, curly egg noodles the second time, and steamed white rice for the third iteration.
At the time I was making this, I was also sharing the procedure with a friend in another part of the country (waving to Karen), so the narrative below is not really in recipe format, but rather an amalgam of what I wrote then and what I added just now.
The original recipe is here:
And my changes:
Instead of browning the pork pieces naked in the oil, I shook them up in a mixture of:
ground mild chile powder
They browned nicely in the cast iron skillet in coconut oil in two separate batches so they weren’t crowded in the pan. Then in the same pan, I sautéed some regular bell green peppers and a big sweet onion; deglazed the pan, and poured that into the Crock-Pot. Added five cups of my own chicken stock.
I didn’t use the fresh tomatoes, but instead, added three big spoons of the fresh salsa from Safeway, a couple of tablespoons of organic tomato paste, and some freeze dried garlic bits.
Before adding in the cooked pork bits, I reserved two of them for taste testing purposes, and Gary’s eyes rolled back in his head as he cleaned the bits from the offered toothpick-kabob. They were already tender at this point, and quite delicious. I almost decided to keep them in this state, but went on to finish off the stew. The Hatch chiles did not make an appearance at this point because they tend to be too hot for me (yes, even the “mild” ones), and I didn’t want to ruin the whole batch for myself. Gary can add bits to his plate as he sees fit at serving time.
I’m not clear what the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar is supposed to do, but I think I will just leave it out. If I had some jalapeño jelly, I might use that instead. A half teaspoon shouldn’t make the whole of it too hot.
In reading over this post, it does seem like this dish was a lot of work, but it really wasn’t. The Crock-Pot did the heavy lifting, and I got a free pass for three subsequent dinner times. The leftover bit is in a Pyrex glass container in the refrigerator, and every time I open the door, I see it. Maybe for lunch today! ;->
NB: Wordpress is refusing to let me put in a paragraph divider for the last paragraph in this post. No matter what I do, it jams the two together. If anyone has knowledge of how to circumvent this, I would love to hear it. And, yes, I have tried copying and pasting the code from the paragraphs that are formatted correctly! Grrrr!