Ben’s Legendary Green Chile Stew

A video tutorial is located at the end of this video!

This is the most delicious of all stews.  A regional specialty of New Mexico, the favored chiles for this stew come from farms near the town of Hatch.  If they are not available in your area, you can buy them online fresh in season, or shipped already roasted, peeled, seeded, and frozen from either of these two sites:

If you don’t have access to local Hatch chiles and can’t afford the $10/lb price to have them shipped, you can substitute half poblano chiles and half Anaheim chiles, with excellent results.

The day before I make green chile stew, I flame-roast my peppers and corn over natural lump charcoal.  You will need around 2 pounds chiles for this recipe, which feeds a crowd or gives plenty of leftovers for freezing.  (You can halve the recipe if you prefer.)  Grill the chiles while the flames are high, blackening them on all sides, them place them in a ziploc bag and seal it to steam them.  Toss the corn onto the grill when the chiles are finished and let it roast, turning often, for 30 minutes.  (Don’t soak the corn beforehand, you want the individual kernels to be blackened, which means the husks need to “burn” through.)  When the chiles cool, peel most of the blackened skin from them, scrape out the seeds, but DO NOT rinse them under water because this will ruin the flavor.  Wear gloves if you have sensitive skin.  If your hands are burning, douse them in hand sanitizer afterward, the alcohol helps dissolve the capsaicin that causes burning, and DO NOT touch your eyes, nose, or mouth for an hour afterward!  Seal the chiles in a ziploc bag.  Juices will emerge, and you’ll just add them to the stew along with the chiles.

4 pounds pork butt or picnic shoulder, cut into cubes
2 T kosher salt
1 T chili powder
1 T ground cumin
1 T garlic powder
1 T onion powder
1 cup masa harina
canola oil

Sprinkle salt onto pork and toss.  Mix spices with masa, then add masa to pork and toss to coat.  Reserve any seasoned masa that doesn’t stick to the pork.  Saute in your pressure cooker or large pot over high heat until browned on all sides.  (You may have to do this in batches, don’t crowd the pot.)  Remove to a bowl to rest.  Into the pressure cooker add:

1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
2 large red onions, diced
4 carrots, peeled and finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced

Saute until onions are translucent, then add:

1 whole bulb of garlic, cloves peeled and diced

Cook until garlic begins to take on the slightest tinge of color around its edges. Then add the remaining seasoned masa and stir for 2 minutes.  Then add:

2 quarts chicken stock

Scrape bottom of pot.  When stock is simmering, add:

cooked pork
2-3 smoked ham hocks
1 cup dry pinto beans, rinsed (optional)
2 teaspoons oregano

Cover pressure cooker and bring to 15psi and cook for 40 minutes.  Direct release the steam, if your cooker allows this, or run cold water on top of the cooker until the pressure released.  (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, keep at a bare simmer, covered, for 2 hours.)

Open the pot and add:

2 pounds flame roasted, peeled, and seeded Hatch green chiles (or Anaheim/Poblano chiles), chopped finely, juices included
6 Russet potatoes, washed, unpeeled, and cut in 1/2″ cubes
6-8 Roma tomatoes, 1/2″ cube
4 ears of flame-roasted corn, kernels removed and cobs added to stew
20 grinds of black pepper

Bring to a simmer, cover pressure cooker and bring to 15psi, cook for 8 minutes.  Release pressure directly or with cold water.  (If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.  If you do have a pressure cooker, it may be overloaded above the max fill line by this point, in which case continue the recipe as if you’re not using a pressure cooker.)  Remove cobs and ham hocks and discard.  Add:

2 bunches chopped cilantro
1/4 – 1 cup apple cider vinegar (depending on taste)

Taste and correct seasonings.

At this point, I like to cover the pot and let the stew sit 24 hours before serving.  It lets the flavors meld and it becomes twice as good!

Reheat gently, stirring well.  If the stew is “soupy,” add extra masa, 1 Tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly, until stew is thick.

Serve with homemade corn tortillas, or better yet, freshly fried sopapillas!!!

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