This time of year, I often start craving green pork chile. This year, that craving started about a month ago, leading in to the Camden Chili cookoff; thankfully, Tammy showed up with some green pork chile, and it was lovely (I snagged two samples). But, given all of the eating we do this time of year, I was hesitant to buy a great big chunk of pork, so I set out to make a vegan version that would be every bit as good.
And I have to say, I did just that last night.
Note the huge hominy in the bowl. This was cooked from dried and I used my pressure cooker. You could easily use canned hominy and canned beans, but if you do, don't skimp on the tomatillos and roasted onion and garlic. Here's what went in my pot. I'm going to write this out in steps with some alternatives as this is far more about a process and adjusting to taste as you go.
In a roasting pan (I suggest a glass casserole as you don't want to lose any juices):
12-13 tomatillos, cleaned and whole
2 onions, cut into chunks
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
Drizzle a Tablespoon of oil on the onions, garlic, and tomatillos and toss. Roast at 425 for a good 30 minutes or until everything is soft and there's some color on the tomatillos.
Pressure cook your hominy if using dried (1 cup) for 30 minutes. Add the beans (1 cup) and pressure cook those with the hominy for another 30 minutes. I literally just made sure there was water to cover each time. I used cranberry beans because that's what i had and because they tend to hold together a bit better than pinto beans. This would be great with pinto beans or black beans, though, if that's your thing. Got some great beans from Rancho Gordo? Go for it. Rio Zape beans would be awesome here.
Alternative: Swap out two 15 ounce cans of hominy, drained and rinsed for the dried. If you don't want to cook your own beans, swap those out for two 15 ounce cans of pinto or black beans drained and rinsed.
Can't get fresh tomatillos in your produce department? Swap those out for a large can of whole tomatillos (look in your grocer's "Mexican" food section). If you can't find those, you could aways use cans of green enchilada sauce or pour in a jar of Herdez green salsa or any tomatillo based salsa. Do what you have to do.
At this point, the hominy was still a bit extra chewy and the beans were not quite cooked--even at pressure. I then pureed the tomatillos, onions, and garlic in the food processor and added that, along with about three cups of vegetable stock, 1/2 a bunch of cilantro (stems and all) minced in the food processor. Peel and mostly seed 12-13 roasted chiles (I used Hatch Joe Parker's from my freezer; roasted Anaheims would work in a pinch) and process those. Add all of that to the pot as well as salt, pepper, juice of a lime, and a healthy bit of ground cumin.
The secret ingredient? A couple of teaspoons of Better than Beef Broth concentrate. This helps add the depth that browned pork would give the stock.
Pressure for 35 minutes. I then left the pressure cooker on "brown" to reduce the liquid and to make sure the beans and hominy were where I wanted them.
Garnish with chopped green onion, sliced radishes, extra fresh cilantro, slices of serrano or jalapeños, extra lime juice, chips, etc. A dollop of sour cream is also lovely stirred into a bowl of the finished stew.
Angel lives in Camden, Arkansas where she writes stuff and sometimes sends it out to other people to read. She used to grade papers, but not anymore. Check out her main site to see what she's up to lately.