Monday, October 15, 2012

Pork Chili Verde

Week 6 of the NFL is nearly in the books, and although I did not get to see my team play (which was probably a good thing, they lost 35-9), I still had time to make this slow simmered dish. This chili is very simple to make, but does take time if you want to do it right. When given enough time to simmer, the pork comes out fall apart tender. Combine that with the flavors of roasted peppers, tomatillos, and garlic, and you have a delicious bowl of chili verde, no beans or pasta needed.

The key to the flavor of this chili is to roast the tomatillos, garlic and chilies prior to making the salsa verde. There are a couple options here, but I chose to go with the broiler. By placing the rack as high up in the oven as possible, I was able to roast the tomatillos to a golden brown with a few black spots. In the same amount of time, the chilies were charred and ready to transfer to a paper bag to steam. After about 10 minutes, the skins peeled right off and everything went into the blender.

Overall, this dish took about 3 hours to complete, but the last 2-1/2 hours of that was it simmering in the oven. Not bad. Thirty minutes of work, 2-1/2  hours of watching football, and 2 minutes of dipping for what my wife described as the best chili I have made in this series yet.

Pork Chili Verde

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 lbs pork shoulder roast, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 lbs tomatillos, husked
2 jalapeno peppers
1 Anaheim pepper
1 poblano pepper
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 cup cilantro
1 large onion, diced
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
2 tsp dried oregano

Arrange tomatillos, peppers, and garlic onto a foil lined baking sheet. Place under broiler and broil, turning peppers often, until tomatillos are browned and peppers are charred and skins split. Place peppers in paper bag and let steam 10 minutes.

Place tomatillos in blender. Remove skin and seeds from peppers. Place roasted peppers in blender. Peel garlic and add to blender. Puree on medium speed until fairly smooth. Add cilantro and pulse until blended. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat one Tbsp olive oil in large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add half of pork and brown on all sides. Remove meat from pan. Repeat with second Tbsp oil and remaining pork. Remove second half of pork.

Heat last tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until soft. Return pork to pan and pour in green sauce. Stir in chicken broth and oregano. Bring to a boil, cover and transfer pan to oven. Cook in oven 2-1/2 hours, or until pork is very tender. Remove from oven and season to taste with salt.  Serve immediately with tortillas.

Next week:  Chocolate Chili

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