Now, Rick Bakas typically builds a solid recipe at his blog, The Traveling Palate. This one has been stuck to my wall for a while, in anticipation of Hatch chile season.
Two weeks ago, I went to Wegmans and they were overflowing with Hatch chiles. Tom, one of the in-store chefs at the Fairmount Wegmans, was roasting them up front. They were selling them frozen, fresh, roasted, chopped up… My point is, there were a metric ton of Hatch chiles in that store.
Last week when I got there, they were all gone. So, I said something to Tom as he was handing out samples of salmon, and he laughed. He said that they left the store about as quickly as they came in and that one woman came in and bought five cases.
So, what’s so special about the Hatch chile? First, they are mild, like an Anaheim (about 500 to 1,000 on the Scoville chart), so they appeal to a wide audience. Second, beneath the skin is a meaty layer of pepper, not unlike a poblano. Third, they are long like a cubanelle. And fourth, when you roast them, they take on a smokey awesome flavor.
Hatch chiles come from a specific region of New Mexico called the — wait for it — Hatch Valley, near — wait for it — the village of Hatch. And, their peak season is remarkably short, restrained to August and September.
What I’m trying to say is that I screwed up and I should have bought a bunch of peppers two weeks ago.
WHAT WORKED: On my trip to Wegmans, I picked up some Hatches for something else and had three left over. I backfilled with poblanos. Also, I’m a big fan of roasting peppers over the open flame of my gas range.
WHAT DIDN’T: Making this for a weeknight at one time. I did the bulk of the cooking on Monday night, chilled it overnight, and busted it out for Tuesday.
WHAT DID THE WIFE SAY: “This is really good. What is it?” It’s my favorite question at dinnertime.
WILL IT MAKE ANOTHER APPEARANCE: Apparently not until next September, unless…
Roasted Green Chile and Pork Stew
Adapted from Rick Bakas’ original at The Traveling Palate
- 1 lb. Hatch, poblano or Anaheim chiles
- 2 small onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed, cleaned and quartered
- 1 jalapeños, washed, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tbsp. canola oil, separated
- 1 1/2 to 2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 5 cups chicken stock
Either preheat your grill on high or turn the burners of your gas range to high. If you are using a grill, cook the peppers until they are blistered and charred on each side without crowding them together. If you are working indoors, place 1 to 2 over each burner so that they get contact with the flame. You will hear snapping and popping as the outer layer of skin is breached. Cook until blistered and charred on each side. Either way, this should take about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
When they have cooled some, skin each pepper by placing them inside of a piece of paper towel and rubbing vigorously. The skin should crumble right off the pepper. Skin all of the peppers, then trim the stems and remove the seeds with your hands. Rinsing them with water will wash away the peppers’ oils, so avoid the faucet. Chop the peppers into smaller pieces and set aside.
Combine the tomatillos, jalepeños, garlic and onion in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle 1 tbsp. of oil over the veggies and toss with a large spoon. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and roast until soft, 30 to 45 minutes.
Heat the remaining oil over high heat until it shimmers. Add the pork and sear on all sides. Season the pork with salt and pepper. Cook in batches, transferring each batch to a paper towel lined plate when it is cooked.
Return all of the pork to the pan and add the roasted peppers and veggies. Add the chicken stock, cover the pan and cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the liquid has reduced and thickened, and the pork is tender.
Serve hot with yellow rice.