Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chile Verde

     Mmmmm, there's something so wonderful about sitting down at the end of the day, and diving into a meal that's been cooking all day long; very satisfying. The whole house smells like the delicious aroma of what's been simmering on the stove for hours, and it's intoxicating! The only thing is... you really have to plan out your day around the meal, b/c you have to make sure that you have enough time to do all the steps... especially when you have a little baby that is so demanding! geesh! :)

     Thankfully, said baby was extra wonderful on Saturday when I started this project. When she was down for her morning nap, around 9am, I thought I'd get started, and boy am I glad I did! While this Chile Verde is by no means hard at all, it can be considered a bit time consuming. Now, there are ways to get around this by buying canned tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic, chiles, etc. But, when you want the satisfaction of making things from scratch... you buy the ingredients and do the roasting yourself. Also, another way to cut time... a lot of time, is by buying your meat cut into chunks already... or at least asking your butcher to cut the meat up for you once you pick our your slab. I, however, did not do that... and cutting up the meat took the LONGEST time. I won't be doing that again, I don't care if the meat quality is slightly less. It got old after a half an hour of trying to cut chunks off a bone-y slab o' meat. Never again!

     This was pretty good! The husband liked it, and the guests enjoyed it as well. This is one of those meals that is a special occasion kinda meal. Enjoy!

1 1/2 lb tomatillos
8 garlic cloves (3 finely chopped, 5 unpeeled for roasting)
2 jalapenos, chopped (I kept in the seeds and membranes, and it had a bit of a kick, but not too much)
2 Anaheim or Pablano chiles
1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned

3 1/2 - 4 lbs pork sholder (pork butt), trimmed of fat and cut into 1-2 in chunks
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp cumin
2 1/2 C chicken stock


Here are your greens for the sauce:

onions, jalapenos, anaheim chiles, garlic, cilantro, and tomatillos

Get your broiler started, and place your 2 Anaheim chiles under the broiler and continue watching them closely, b/c you will need to turn them every so often to make sure they blacken on all sides. This took approximately 10 minutes; but SO much easier than putting them over an open flame on the stove and waiting as it blackens at a snails pace. 

Once the peppers are done, and completely black, place in a container and cover with plastic wrap to allow the skin to steam and come off easily. Let those chill and steam while you work on the tomatillos.

Take the husks off the tomatillos, and rinse. Be careful because they are quite sticky once you take the papery husks off. Slice the tomatillos in half and place on a foil-lined baking sheet, face down. Take your 3 unpeeled garlic and place on the pan with your tomatillos.

Here's the part where you can do one of two things, either broil or bake. I prefer broil b/c it takes a LOT less time. The only problem is... my broiler is under the oven, so I had to keep an eye out and continue bending over to check the tomatillos, which was a little irritating, but I prefer it to waiting for an hour or more for the tomatillos to roast in the oven. So go with your fancy. (If you roast in the oven, roast at about 350-400 for an hour or so). Otherwise... broil for 7-10 minutes. (B/c my broiler was under the stove, a pan wouldn't fit, so I had to place them on the broiler sheet individually with tongs, which was fine, just make sure those legs are bendy!)

Chop your jalapenos, and place in a blender, along with the tomatillos, cilantro leaves, the roasted garlic that you have now peeled, and the Anaheim chiles. (Once the tomatillos are done roasting, take your chiles out of the container and gently peal off the skin and chop. I kept the seeds) Pulse ingredients until smooth and all mixed together. It will smell wonderful!

The next step is a bit frustrating... only because the pork butt can be a little hard to cut if you get a whole chunk of it. Next time, I will definitely get the meat pre-cut, this step took up way too much time! While everything is roasting, begin cutting the meat into chunks. Pour a tbsp of oil into a hot skillet. Place some flour in a bowl, and put a few chunks into the bowl and roll 'em around to coat. Working in batches, so that the meat will brown evenly and get a nice crispy coating to it, put some of the meat into the skillet and cook for a minute on each side. Transfer the meat to a bowl and set aside.

You can do this next step at the same time as the meat, or wait until you are finished with the meat (I tried to save time so I did this step while the meat was cooking and then just transferred the meat right into the pot). In a large pot, add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes. Add the meat, oregano, and cumin. Let the seasonings cook into the meat for a minute before adding the tomatillo mixture. Then add the chicken stock and season with salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 2-3 hours.

Serve with white rice and tortillas. Mmmm starch and more starch!
And, those I served this dish to liked the addition of some sour cream.

Recipe Courtesy of: Simply Recipes


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