Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Green Chile Pork Stew (v2) and Tamales

Our family is of Italian, French, English, Irish and Scottish heritage...a very Heinz 57 mix. So don't ask me why Christmas Eve means Mexican Food at our party. It must be the Southern California influence.

For the past 30 years, my parents have always served tamales, enchiladas, taquitos,chile rellenos, rice, beans, salsa, chips, tortillas and guacamole on December 24th. A few years ago, the celebration moved to my sister's home but the Mexican food theme continued. I moved to New Mexico last year and added New Mexican Green Chile Pork Stew to the assortment. I actually lug a cooler full of green chiles from Taos to California to make the dish. So this is Christmas for me and my family.

A few months ago I posted a recipe for Green Chile Pork Stew. My husband liked it a lot but said it just did not taste like the green chile he grew up eating. He is originally from Southern Colorado and is very particular about his green chile. One of his favorite versions was made by the mother of one of his best friends, Larry Duran...They lived next door to each other so he ate it all the time. I met with Larry a few months ago to learn the "secret". He looked at my first recipe and immediately said it was too fancy.

"Diane, you need to keep it simple. No potatoes, no cilantro or fancy spices. No recipe. Just use meat, onions, garlic and the green chile...maybe some tomatoes. Use the stew like gravy, on everything. My Dad ate green chile every day of his life; green chile, tortillas, beans. Green chile on meat, chicken, even mashed potatoes. Use it like gravy"  Larry Duran.

So here is the Duran version. I must say it is excellent.  I serve it over purchased tamales from an amazing source here in Taos. Pork is traditionally used for this stew but I often use buffalo. Beef works well too. One day soon I am going to learn to make tamales myself. (of course I will blog about the experience) Merry Christmas everyone!

Green Chile Pork Stew (v2) and Tamales (Thank you Mrs Duran!)
(serves 4, can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled...whatever you want)*
extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp flour
1 lb pork stew meat (like pork butt or shoulder) cut in 1 1/2 inch cubes (or beef, or buffalo)
1 cup white onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth
1 14 1/2 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups fresh green New Mexican chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped*
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
homemade or store bought tamales (pork, beef or chicken)

Add flour to rimmed plate. (like a pie plate).  Season with 1 tsp each salt and pepper.  Roll pork cubes in flour mixture until all sides are coated.  Heat large stock pot over medium high heat until hot.  Add 2 tbsp olive oil and pork shaking off excess flour before adding to pan.  (Note: do not crowd meat. Cubes should not be touching so do this in batches if necessary.) Saute the meat until golden brown on all sides.  Remove from pan with slotted spoon and place in rimmed plate. Set aside

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to skillet along with the onion. Saute over medium high heat until the onions are soft and translucent (about 4 minutes).  Add garlic and saute an additional minute.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, 1 tsp each salt & pepper and the pork (including any accumulated juice on the plate).  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender. Add the green chiles and simmer over very low heat for 30 minutes.Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. If the stew is too thin add 1-2 tbsp flour to small bowl. Add a ladle full of stew broth to the flour and stir to combine. Add the mixture, a tablespoon at a time, to the stew stirring well to incorporate. Cook 5-10 additional minutes or until stew is as thick as you like.

Steam tamales until hot or follow package directions. Serve topped with green chile pork stew. You can add shredded cheese and/or chopped onions if you like.

* If fresh chiles are out of season you can use frozen roasted chiles.  Defrost and drain liquids (discard) before adding to stew.  Suggested brands are located in the Resources section.

It is "Holiday Side Dish" week at Food Network's Fall Fest roundup. Check out the other delicious sounding recipes from my blogger friends. Do you have a favorite holiday recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. 
Feed Me Phoebe: Stir-Fried Collard Greens with Ginger and Jalapeno
The Heritage Cook: 
Sweet & Lightly Spicy Corn Pudding
The Lemon Bowl: 
Sweet Potato and Corn Hash
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 
Clean Eating Holiday Side Dish Recipes
Cranberry Apple Chutney
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Spices
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: 
Cranberry-Pistachio Pilaf
Taste with the Eyes: 
Fresh Green Beans, Mexican-Style
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Italian Green Beans with Tomatoes and Pesto
Red or Green? 
Green Chile Pork Stew (v2) and Tamales 
Virtually Homemade: 
Cheese Ravioli with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Pomegranate
Domesticate Me: 
Farro Risotto with Prosciutto, Parmesan and Brussels Sprouts
The Sensitive Epicure: 
Butter Dipped Radishes with Sea Salt
Best Holiday Dressing
FN Dish: 
No-Brainer Holiday Sides

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  3. Green chiles are usually roasted before use. This roasting blackens the skin, which is then removed, and imparts a smoky flavor to the chili. Jalapenos can be roasted, but they're often minced fresh and tossed into salsas and sauces or pickled.

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