While most families huddled around Cardiff campfires to cook beans and weenies, Dad insisted on firing up the Coleman at 11 a.m. and sacrificing surf to fill our bellies with chile verde. We ran around the sand until the pelicans came out for feeding, all while my dad cared for a pot of all-day-cooked pork green chile in the campsite. Now, I understand chile verde; it’s a gesture of unconditional love.
So when August rolls in, I begin my hatch hunt and hoard handfuls of the heavenly chiles so I can stew for you, just like dad stewed for me.
I’ve been working on this recipe since 2009. It came to life last month when I found Scott from Ole Dern Farm in Northern Colorado who promised me a happy pig. I had hatch chile hallucinations after my first batch, so I double checked the chile with a second batch. Holy hatch chile, this shit is that good. Recipe serves 8… warm everyone’s heart!
Thinn’s Hatch Chile Verde
2.5 lbs pork shoulder
1 cup whole wheat flour for dredging
2 russet potatoes
4 lbs fire roasted chiles (hatch if you can get em)
1 lb your favorite red tomatoes
8 garlic cloves
1 tbs. better than bouillon chicken
2 tbs. cumin
1 tbs. mexican oregano
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. paprika
salt & pepper
* make it animal-free by omitting pork and substituting vegetable Better Than Bouillon for chicken.
First, preheat oven on broil > husk and rinse 18 tomatillos and arrange in cast iron or casserole dish > broil until blistered
Meanwhile, begin heating a well-oiled cast-iron pan > cut 2.5 pork shoulder into small cubes and dredge in whole wheat flour > salt and pepper the pork > add coated pork to the pan (should sizzle upon entry) > BROWN THE PORK ON ALL SIDES DON’T COOK THROUGH! > set pork aside.
In a large stock pot, saute 1 chopped onion in a lug of your best saute oil > once sweaty (onions, not you), add 8 cloves of chopped garlic > add 1 pound of chopped red tomatoes > add 4 pounds of rinsed and peeled fire roasted green chiles (run chiles under warm water to easily slip plasticky skin off) > add roasted tomatillos > cook on low-medium (about 20 minutes) and allow the stew to get juicy > add 3 pint glasses of water to cover the stew > add 2 tbs. chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon > add 2 tbs. cumin, 1 tbs. mexican oregano, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tsp. paprika and salt and pepper > add a fresh jalapeno or serano now if you desire more heat > stir well, cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for 30 minutes
Using an immersion blender, blend green chile into a soup-like finish and check the taste for spices > add pork and 2 peeled/cubed russet potatoes > cover and simmer until pork is done and potatoes are tender ~1 hour or more for deeper flavor.
Top with roasted pepitas (pepita + frying pan), finely shredded cabbage and creamy avocado.
Nutrition Facts Thinn Style
It’s hatch chile holiday. From August to October, Hatch-cult Coloradoans instinctively flock to the farmer’s market to get their happy hands on the season’s limited-supply of the no-match hatch chiles. I could use hundreds of words to describe to you the desire for these chiles, but instead I will direct you to your farmer’s market so you can experience them for yourself.
I will, however, try to open your eyes to the celestial phenomenon that hatch chiles symbolize. If you cook with the calendar, you know that spring is for asparagus and August for peaches.
As citizens of Earth, we are designed to eat the seasons for several reasons. Mainly, seasonal food is tastier, fresher and more nutritious. A little deeper, eating seasonally offers a way to connect with nature’s cycles and the passing of time. The seasons are a source of natural diversity. Natural News explains this beautifully: “By eating freshly harvested produce, you will be rotating your foods, thereby keeping your body from developing intolerances to certain foods and reaping the health benefits of a diet that is diverse and naturally detoxifying.”
The same goes for beer. Drink seasonally. Hatch chile verde pairs well with Odell’s Mountain Standard double black IPA. Cheers to a season of hot chiles and cold beers!
Vitamin C is for Chile
Mother Nature knows best, which is why she gives us hatch chiles at the brink of cold season. Chiles contain more Vitamin C per ounce than any other food.
Vitamin C is a nutrient that fits into many of your body’s chemical reactions to make them go—to keep you alive.
Vitamin C is for Versatility
Vitamin C is vicious. It deploys your body’s troops. It stimulates the production of interferons, your first line of defense that can inactivate viruses. When you’re at war with a foreign molecule, your body uses Vitamin C to multiply your white blood cells, which slash, burn and eat the creep before it gets too creepy.
Because Vitamin C is water soluble, the antioxidant can swim around your body and quickly and effectively mobilize to bully free radicals that damage your cells and make them/you old.
The primary function of Vitamin C is to manufacture collagen; your framework. Vitamin C makes the most prominent proteins in your body: cartilage, connective tissue, ligaments and tendons. It holds you together. The stronger your tissue, the more resilient you are to cancer’s collagenases (collagen-eaters).
Your body can’t make Vitamin C, so it’s essential you eat green chile.