I must begin with a full disclaimer: I am not that enamored with the Hatch Green Chile. Some people may look upon me with disdain, accusing me of blasphemy or sacrilege. There may be calls for my head, bounties offered for my capture and torture, or worse still, I may lose readers. But I stand by my comment. I just don't quite get the hype over Hatch Green Chiles. After all, it is just a strain of Anaheim Chile. Honestly, I find that the Poblano Chile carries more depth of flavor and, on occasion, packs a good punch of heat. The Poblano is also available year round.
Still, each year when my store promotes the Hatch Green Chile (putting it in everything from brownies to burgers, apple pies to pizza pies, gelato to tacos) I feel obliged to toss something out there for the masses of Hatch Green Chile Disciples. So I present to you my Hatch Green Chile Stew with Posole and Wild Hog. Feel free to make this with Poblano Chiles. I think it will taste a little more...deep.
It all started here.
Needless to say, The Missus was thrilled to have me string this baby up in the back yard and process it.
After butchering the hog I wrapped the various parts for the freezer and use them for various recipes. I decided to use the ribs for this recipe.
This recipe is very easy but you will need to soak the posole at least 6 hours or overnight. Simply put the kernels in a bowl and cover them with water.
But before we start cooking the ribs it is necessary to roast the peppers. I did mine over the open flame of the gas range. You want the skins to be black all over but avoid burning them to a gray ash.
As the chiles blacken (they will finish at different rates) put them in a plastic or paper bag to cool and sweat. This will make the charred skins easier to remove.
Now, let's cook that meat! Much like the venison ragu in an earlier post, we are going to braise the ribs. First, let's sear the meat as best we can. Don't worry if the shape of the rib racks won't allow you to sear it all over. We just need to get some of the surfaces nicely browned.
Now we have a little fond in the pan. This is good. Here at Punk Chef we are fond of fond. For this recipe I took some veggie scraps from the refrigerator and made a simple stock base. I did a rough chop on these and sautéed them with the fond.
Now we can add the ribs back to the pan, add water just to cover, toss in some spices (I used pepper corn and bay leaf), and cover the pot. Bring the stock to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Let it cook for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender and can be pulled easily from the bones.
While the ribs are cooking we need to get our onions and chiles ready. Let's slice the onions first and get the tears out of the way. When the onions are sliced sauté them in a little EVOO until they are lightly browned.
Cook the onions slowly so that you can peel the peppers at the same time. Just don't forget to stir the onions every once in a while. I like to peel the peppers over a paper towel for easy clean up. When peeling and seeding the peppers it is important to not wash them under running water. Don't worry if you can't get all the black skin off; this is what gives the stew a roasted flavor. If you wash the skin from the chiles you will wash off most of the roasted flavor, too.
Once we have the chiles peeled, seeded, and sliced we can toss them into the pan with the onions. Let's throw in a little chopped garlic for good measure, too.
When I make stew like this I really like to pump up the flavor of the corn. A good way to do this is to add a couple of tablespoons of masa harina. On this day, however, I did not have any masa harina on hand so I cut two corn tortillas into a fine julienne. If you don't have mad knife skills you could just put them into a food processor and grind them into oblivion. But if you have masa harina on hand then I recommend using that. Add the masa (or tortillas) to the pan with the onions, chiles, and garlic. Cook the mixture until the masa is well incorporated, or if using the tortillas, until they are soft and falling apart.
Put this mixture aside until the ribs are done. When the ribs have finished cooking we need to remove them to a plate to cool and strain the stock.
Now we must cook the posole. Simply add it to the strained stock and top the level off with water so that the posole is covered by about 3 inches. Bring the stock to a boil and then reduce it to a simmer. Lightly cover the pot and let the posole cook until it is tender, about 2 hours. Add more water if necessary.
While the posole is cooking we need to begin picking the meat from the ribs. Once all the meat is removed from the bones we can just add it to the bowl of chiles and onions.
When the posole is tender we just dump the pork, onions, and chiles into the stock. Let the mixture cook so that the tortillas can fully break down and all the flavors can integrate. Season the stew to your liking with salt.
Ladle the stew into bowls and serve with a garnish of chopped cilantro (unless you are one of those people who thinks cilantro tastes like soap) and a lime wedge. Squeeze the lime into the stew and chow down. Yum.
Hatch Green Chile Stew with Posole and Wild Hog
For the stew base:
1 rack Pork Ribs, cut into pieces
1 Onion, chopped rough with the skin left on
1 Carrot, chopped rough
3 Celery Ribs, chopped rough
3 Garlic Cloves, smashed
1 Tbsp. Black Peppercorns
3-6 Bay Leaves (depending on your taste for the leaf)
Water to cover
Salt to taste
For the chiles and onions:
6 Hatch Green Chiles, roasted, peeled, and seeded (or Poblano Chilies)
1 Onion, peeled and sliced
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. Masa Harina (or 2 Corn Tortillas cut into a fine julienne)
For the posole:
1 cup Posole, soak 6 hours or overnight
Cilantro and Lime wedges for garnish
Heat the oil in a pot and sear the ribs until they are browned in places. Remove the ribs to a plate and sauté the vegetables until they are lightly browned. Add the ribs and spices. Add water to just cover the ribs and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and cook for about 2 hours or until the meat is tender enough to easily pull from the bones.
While the ribs are cooking roast, peel, and seed the chiles. Sauté the onions over a low heat until they are slightly browned. Add the chiles, minced garlic, and masa harina (or tortillas) to the pan and stir well. Let the mixture cool while the ribs finish cooking.
When the ribs are done cooking lift them from the pot and put them on a plate to cool. Strain the stock and put it into a clean stock pot. Add the posole to the stock and add water (if needed) to cover the posole by about 3 inches. Bring the stock to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer, lightly cover the pan and let the posole cook until it is tender, about 2 hours.
While the posole is cooking pick the meat from the ribs. Discard the bones. Add the meat to the reserved chiles and onions. When the posole is done add the meat, chiles, and onions to the pot. Season with salt.
Serve hot in bowls garnished with chopped cilantro and lime wedges.