It's that time of the year again! Hatch Chilies are here! Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get Hatch Chilies shipped in. Our local Whole Foods Market sells them for $1.99 per pound. For $39.99, you can get a case (25 lbs) with free roasting. I bought a couple of pounds of Hatch Chilies one day and had my dad roast them on the grill outside while he was cooking a few other things. The tomatillos for this recipe came from my garden. I love tomatillo sauce!!
My first recipe with the chilies for this season was a Hatch Chili Verde. I've made chili verde before but never with Hatch chilies. I used a few different recipes to come up with this one (sorry, I forgot to write down which ones). Feel free to substitute different chilies. Recipes I saw used a combination of Anaheim, Poblano, Jalapenos and Hatches. I went with just the Hatch chilies but in different heat combinations.
This recipe will knock your socks off! It really is THAT good. It may take a while to make but it is sure worth the wait. You can also do the tomatillo sauce and roast the chilies one night and cook the chili the second night if you like. I threw everything in a slow cooker overnight and the pork was nice and fall apart delicious! If you're going through the trouble to make this, consider making a double recipe and freezing the other half for a cold winter night. You'll thank me later!
Hatch Chili Verde
2 lb. fresh tomatillos
6 garlic cloves, not peeled (keep in skins)
6-8 Hatch chilies (I used about 2 hot and 4 mild chilies), roasted with skins removed and seeds removed (see below)
1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned (use half for the sauce and half for garnish)
4-5 lbs. pork shoulder or pork butt, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
freshly ground black pepper
flour for dredging
2 sweet onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp. dried oregano (or 2 Tbsp. fresh)
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 bay leaves
2 c. chicken stock (homemade is preferred)
lime, cut in wedges (for garnish)
1) Roast the fresh chilies on the grill, over a gas flame or under the broiler until they are blackened all around. Place in a ziploc bag or a bowl with a saran wrap cover. Allow the chilies to steam for about 15 minutes. If you are using spicy chilies, use disposable gloves. Remove chili skins, stem and seeds. Set the chilies aside.
2) Preheat your oven broiler. Remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse with warm water to remove the sticky film. Cut each tomatillo in half and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet (cut side down and skin side up). Place your whole cloves of garlic (still in the wrapper) on the cookie sheet too. Place under the broiler for abut 6-8 minutes until the tomatillo skins blacken. Rotate and move the cookie sheet to char them evenly. Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool enough to handle.
3) Place the tomatillos (skins and juice included) in a blender. Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and add them to the blender. Add the Hatch chiles and about half of a bunch of cilantro leaves to the blender. Pulse the sauce until all the ingredients are chopped fine. Set the tomatillo sauce aside.
4) Trim the excess fat from your pork and cut into 1-2 inch sized cubes (use 1 inch for cooking over the stove and larger cubes for slow cooker method; I cut into 1 and 1/2 inch cubes). Season the pork generously with salt and pepper. Place flour in a ziploc bag and add the pork cubes. If you will be cooking the chili over the stove, use a pot in the next step to cook the pork (less clean up). If you're slow cooking the chili, use a skillet.
5) Heat the canola oil in a large pot or skillet over medium high heat. Brown the pork cubes well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork does not crowd the pan. Remove the cooked pork to a bowl or plate and set aside.
6) Pour off excess fat and wipe flour from the bottom of your pot/skillet. Add about a tablespoon of oil and saute the onions and garlic. Add the oregano, cumin and coriander to the onion mixture and stir occasionally until the onions are translucent (about 5 minutes).
7) If you are using the same pot to cook over the stove, add the pork and tomatillo sauce to the pot. If using a slow cooker, add the pork, onion mixture and tomatillo sauce to the slow cooker. Add bay leaves and chicken stock to either your pot or slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper (Not too much salt as the chili will concentrate during cooking. You can always add more later).
8) If cooking on the stove, bring the chili to a boil then reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender. If using a slow cooker, slow cook for 6-8 hours.
Adjust the seasonings when the cooking is done. Serve with rice or warm flour tortillas. Offer cilantro and lime wedges as additional garnishes at the table. Enjoy!
**Linking up to Robin's Thursday Kitchen Cupboard at The Gardener of Eden**