Saturday, June 9, 2012

Pork Chile Verde

I've been making chile verde for years (one of my fav Mexican comfort foods), and have always used canned tomatillos and green chiles for the sauce because they're quick and easy. But, after reading through a number of recipes in cookbooks and online, I decided to take the extra step of roasting fresh tomatillos and peppers in hopes of achieving some extra depth of flavor in this dish. Well, it really paid off. I was especially inspired by a rendition of chile verde from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger (I used their technique of dredging the pork with flour, salt & pepper and adding green bell peppers to the mix). As with most stews, this tastes even better the next day. 

If you're in a hurry, though, I've included my tried and true, quick and easy, but still delicious version below, which uses canned green enchilada sauce and canned green chiles

3 1/2 - 4 lbs. of pork shoulder/butt, trimmed of fat & cut into 1 1/2 - 2" cubes
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
2 Anaheim chiles, seeded & diced
2 poblano chiles, seeded & diced
2 green bell peppers, seeded & diced
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded & sliced
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2- 2 lbs. of tomatillos (about 14)
1 tbsp. Mexican oregano
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. ground coriander
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. sugar
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
32 oz. (4 cups) low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water

1. Trim the fat off the pork and cut into 2" cubes. Season with a good amount of salt and pepper.

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse with water. Place the tomatillos, Anaheim & poblano chiles on a foil-lined baking sheet & lightly rub with olive or vegetable oil. Place in oven and roast about 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven & set aside.

3. Heat 1/4 cup of veggie oil over medium high heat in a large stock pot or cast iron pot. Add the pork and brown well (do not overcrowd the pork pieces - cook in 2-3 batches if necessary). Remove browned pork to a plate & set aside.

4. Add onions, green bell peppers & jalapenos to the pot and saute for several minutes; add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. At this point, you can add the sauteed onion-pepper mix together with the cooling tomatillos & Anaheim & Poblanos (stemmed & seeded), place them all in a blender and puree for a smoother sauce. 

5. Add the pork back in the pot, then add in the pureed pepper mixture, chicken stock, water, cilantro, Mexican oregano, cumin, ground coriander, bay leaves, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tbsp. kosher salt, and 2 tsp. sugar. Cook for at least 2 hours or until pork is super tender. 

6. Garnish with fresh cilantro & Mexican blend cheese. Serve with rice and refried beans on the side.


Poblano chiles, tomatillos, and Anaheim chiles.

2 onions, chopped.

Chopped fresh cilantro, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and green bell peppers.

Pork shoulder.

Pork, seasoned with salt and pepper.

Roasted tomatillos & peppers.

Brown the pork.

Saute the onion, green bell pepper and garlic in the pork drippings.

Place the roasted tomatillos & peppers (stemmed & seeded) in a blender. Optionally, you can also add the sauteed onion/bell pepper mix to the blender if you want a smoother sauce. 

Pulse the mix briefly until pureed (not to the point of baby food - you still want some texture).

Add the browned pork back to the pot.

Add the pureed veggies, chicken stock, and water.

Stir in the cilantro and spices. Cook on simmer, partially covered, at least 2 hours or until pork is tender.

Great with rice and refried beans on the side.

5 lbs. pork butt or shoulder, trimmed & cut into large cubes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 28-oz. can green enchilada sauce
1 4-oz. can diced green chiles
1 7-oz. can whole jalapenos
1 tbsp. tomato paste
4 cups water

1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. Mexican oregano
1 tsp. granulated garlic
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. sugar
(Do not add salt because the canned enchilada sauce & chiles are salted)

Shredded Mexican cheese blend and chopped cilantro for garnish

1. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the pork and cook until lightly browned. 

3. Add the scallions, cilantro and fresh jalapeno and stir to combine. Add the enchilada sauce, canned chiles, tomato paste and water and bring to a boil. 

4. Stir in the seasonings, reduce heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer for 2 hours until the meat is very tender, stirring occasionally.

5. Serve as-is or with rice and/or refried beans on the side. Garnish with shredded cheese and chopped fresh cilantro.

Chopped onion, scallions, cilantro, jalapeño, and garlic. 

Pork shoulder, cut into large cubes. 

Saute onion first about 4-5 minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes  

Add the pork and cook until lightly browned.  

Add the chopped cilantro, scallion and jalapeño. 

Add the enchilada sauce, canned diced green chiles and canned whole green chiles. 

Stir in seasoning, bring to a boil, then partially cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 2 hours or until the meat is very tender. 

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