Pork Chile Verde

Pork Chile VerdeNetflix and Chile Verde
Last week I made something I haven’t made in…forever. Pork Chile Verde. I love Chile Verde but it takes a while. So, it’s not something that frequently graces my dinner table. I tend to only order it when we go to a restaurant for Mexican. In this instance, I had boneless pork shoulder in the freezer that kept getting in my way and driving me nuts. And I wanted to figure out what to do with it beyond the usual pulled pork.

On impulse, I bought a bunch of tomatillos and brought them home for no other reason than I was bored with the usual stuff, (And, they were in a basket next to the jalapeños and Anaheim chiles which are a veggie drawer staple in my house.) I had no idea what I was going to do with the tomatillos but having them on hand must have lead me to the whole Chile Verde epiphany.

The urge to make Chile Verde sent me into this somewhat manic desire to create an entire experience like going to our favorite Mexican restaurant. I made the Mexican rice and the refried beans as well as the tortillas. I even went so far as to make flan for dessert. (So worth it!). I mean, it’s not like I had anything else to do so why not? If we can’t go out to eat, then we’ll do it at home with plenty of margaritas in the blender.

The key to this dish is meat that isn’t too lean which is why pork shoulder is great. You gotta have the fat or it will be dry.

Pork Chile Verde
Adapted from The Food Network 
Yields 4 to 6 servings

For the Pork
3 pounds pork shoulder, cubed (with fat)
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups Salsa Verde (recipe follows)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup roasted, diced Anaheim chiles or one 7-ounce can of diced green chiles, hot or mild
1 large yellow onion, chopped

For the Salsa Verde
12 tomatillos, husks removed
4 cloves garlic
2 jalapeños, stemmed
1 serrano pepper, stemmed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt

Make the salsa
In a saucepan, boil the tomatillos, garlic, jalapeños, Serrano, and half of the onions in 2 cups of water until the mixture floats to the top of the saucepan (about 30 minutes). Strain out the pulp and reserve the liquid.

In a food processor, blend the pulp with the remaining onions, cilantro, salt, and 3/4 cup of the reserved liquid.

Make the Chile Verde
In a large skillet, add the pork butt, salt, black pepper, oregano, and garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Add the Salsa Verde, cilantro, cumin, green chiles, and onions and cook for another 5 minutes.

Transfer the pork and liquid to a slow cooker, cover, and cook on high for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 3 to 3-1/2 hours.

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