Friday, February 11, 2011

Chili Verde: Slow-Cooked Pork with Tomatillos and Other Yumminess

Chile Verde

Serves 8, cooks several hours, uses crock pot (or large soup pot) and blender.

• 4 pounds pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
• Salt & freshly ground black pepper
• Olive oil
• 2 yellow onions
• 8 garlic cloves or 5 cloves and 3 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos -- about 20
• 1 or 2 jalapenos
• 2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles (some say pasilla chile are similar.)
• 1 bunch cilantro
• 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
• 2 1/2 cups chicken or beef stock
• Pinch of ground cloves (or allspice)

This first step is the most work: Cut the pork into 1 to 2-inch cubes. OK, now breathe, because the rest is a piece of cake!

Heat a little olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat and brown the pork chunks well on all sides, with salt & pepper. Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan. Using a slotted spatula, lift pork out of pan and place in a crock pot (or very large soup pot or Dutch oven).  If using a crock pot, pour in about a cup of the stock, and turn it on high so it can start heating/cooking while doing the rest of the steps.

As pork is browning, chop onions and finely chop 3 garlic cloves (or used crushed garlic).  Cook onions and garlic until translucent/limp and add to crock pot.  Deglaze pan with stock or apple cider vinegar, and add to crock pot.

Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well. Cut them in half. Wash other chilis, remove seeds and stems, slice so that they will lay flat under the broiler. 

Arrange tomatillos, cut side down, and other chilis, and remaining 5 garlic cloves on your broiler pan, in batches according to what fits under your broiler.  Broil tomatillos and chiles until the skin is blackened, then using your metal spatula, lift them into the blender.  Let the garlic cloves cool, then remove them from their skins and add them to the blender.

Meanwhile wash the cilantro, and pull the leaves off the stems and add them to the blender.

Add about a half cup of stock to aid in blending, and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Pour into the crock pot.

Add the oregano, and ground cloves or allspice.  Add enough stock to make enough liquid to cover the pork. Cook on high (I have an old crock pot, so it needs to be on high -- you may prefer to cook yours on another setting -- use what you normally would to cook a pot roast several hours.)

(If using a large pot on the stove instead of a crock pot, 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 tortillas.  Spanish rice is a good side dish.

I made this on my birthday in September, and we packed it to the beach, wrapping the crock pot in newspaper and placing it in a box.

Craig, Isy, Jenna, and I dined on chili verde, tortillas, and birthday cake, beer and soda, while enjoying the spectacular sunset over the waves and the LAX jets putting on a light show for us as they flew off toward faraway lands. 

(Would have had a bonfire, but all the firepits were taken.) 

What an incredible evening with my dear loves!!!  <3

(similar sunset, from our house)

1 comment:

  1. What a lovely way to celebrate your birthday. You certainly enjoy your life's little moments. It is lovely to read.Love Judy