Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Authentic (I think) Chile Verde

"We're Mexican this week," I told my husband. This is a true statement for me: I'm part Mexican, on my paternal grandmother's side. It's not true for my husband, but he knew what I meant. I sometimes plan ethnically themed menus for the week, especially when I hit a specialty grocery store. So some weeks we are Italian (which would be true for hubby, but not me) and some weeks we are Greek (which isn't true for either of us). And a slew of other ethnicities. I used to be a food writer, and I think I can cook just about anything if I have the right recipe.

Shamefully enough, this part-Mexican gal had never made Chile Verde before. I had a good idea of what the recipe should look like, but somehow, finding the right recipe took a lot longer than cooking the chile. I'd love to give credit to the website where I found this; unfortunately, I didn't copy the link and now I can't find it again. Anyhow, thank you to Someone who provided a most excellent recipe. Those who are schooled in Mexican fare can let me know whether this sounds authentic enough.

Chile Verde
Serves 4

3/4 pounds tomatillos, halved
3 garlic cloves, not peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 Anaheim or Poblano chili (optional)
1/2 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
2 pounds pork shoulder (also called pork butt), trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion
1 T of chopped fresh oregano or 1 T dried
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
Pinch of ground cloves

Roast tomatillos along with 3 unpeeled garlic cloves, under a broiler 5 to 7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle. Roast fresh chilies (except jalapenos) over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around.

Puree tomatillos, roasted garlic and chilies, jalapeno, and cilantro in blender.

Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Brown pork chunks well on all sides. Remove from pan, pour off excess fat.

Cook onion and 2 cloves garlic in the same skillet until limp. Add pork back to the pan (or transfer to a stock pot). Add oregano, chile verde sauce, pinch of cloves, and enough chicken stock to cover the meat.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.

  • We ate the chile with fresh tortillas from a local Mexican restaurant (since I haven't yet attempted to make homemade tortillas), topped off with Crema Salvadorena from a Mexican grocery store, which is a type of sour cream. It's probably sacrilege to put crema on chile, but we had it on hand and Hubby likes it.

  • The chile can be served with rice.

  • I regrettably used chicken bouillon instead of broth. Was a bit too salty for my taste, but Hubby seemed to like it that way.

  • Recipe was originally for eight servings; halving it worked fine, so if you double the above ingredients, you're right back at the original.

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