Monday, October 24, 2011

Chile verde to die for

  • Cook time: 3 hours
    • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
    • 5 garlic cloves, not peeled
    • 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
    • 2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles (optional)
    • 1 bunch cilantro (coriander) leaves, cleaned and chopped
    • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • Olive oil
    • 2 yellow onions, chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
    • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
    • Pinch of ground cloves
    1 Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 5 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a grill for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle.
    If you want the additional flavor of chiles other than jalapenos, you can add a couple Anaheim or poblano chiles. Either use canned green chiles or roast fresh chilies over a gas flame or under the grill until blackened all around. Let cool in a bag, remove the skin, seeds, and stem.

    2 Place tomatillos, skins included, into blender. Remove the now roasted garlic cloves from their skins, add them to the blender. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, other chilies (if you are using them), and cilantro to the blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

    3 Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well on all sides. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan and has a better chance to brown well. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift pork out of pan and place in bowl, set aside.

    4 Pour off excess fat, anything beyond a tablespoon, and place the onions and garlic in the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes. If your skillet is large enough to cook the entire batch of chile verde, with the sauce and meat, then add the pork back to the pan. If not, get a large soup pot and add the onion mixture and the pork to it. Add the oregano to the pan. Add the tomatillo chile verde sauce to the pork and onions. Add the chicken stock (enough to cover the meat). Add a pinch of ground cloves. Add a little salt and pepper. (Not too much as the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit.)

    5 Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender.
    Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Spanish rice and warmed flour tortillas or freshly made corn tortillas.

    Yield: Serves 8. (recipe from the lady got it from her Acapulco friend).

    Sorry for no photos when it was finished. We were too busy eating! We had the chile verde in wraps with black beans, rice, spicy tomato salsa, cheese and sour cream washed down with cold beer. It was so delicious and the perfect meal to share with friends. I love Mexican food and it was really exciting to use my own home grown ingredient for an authentic Mexican meal. 

    (chile is the Mexican spelling I've discovered)

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