Walk into almost any taqueria in this country and you will find chile verde on the menu. The chile will likely be made with chunks of pork shoulder, slow cooked in a green chile sauce of jalapeño chiles, garlic, and tomatillos.
It's a favorite filling for burritos and tacos, and wonderful just on its own with a bit of rice and tortillas.
Many recipes call for puréeing raw tomatillos and adding them to the pork to cook. In this recipe we roast the tomatillos first, browning their skins, to bring out more flavor.
I recently begged this recipe from my Acapulco friend, Arturo who was surprised I wanted it. "But Elise, it's so easy, anyone can make chile verde." Gracias, Arturo. We loved it.
Video: How to Make Chile Verde
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles, optional
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork shoulder (also called pork butt), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
Freshly ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 1/2 cups chicken stock
Pinch ground cloves
Flour or corn tortillas
Prepare the tomatillos:
Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.
Roast the tomatillos, garlic:
Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 5 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle.
If you want the additional flavor of chilies other than jalapenos, you can add a couple Anaheim or poblano chiles. Either use canned green chiles or roast fresh chilies over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool in a bag, remove the skin, seeds, and stem.
Purée tomatillos with garlic, jalapeño, cilantro:
Place tomatillos, skins included, into blender. Remove the now roasted garlic cloves from their skins, add them to the blender. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, other chilies (if you are using them), and cilantro to the blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.
Sear pork on all sides:
Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well on all sides.
Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan and has a better chance to brown well. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift pork out of pan and place in bowl, set aside.
Sauté onions and garlic:
Pour off excess fat, anything beyond a tablespoon, and place the onions and garlic in the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes.
Add pork, oregano, tomatillo sauce, stock, ground cloves:
If your skillet is large enough to cook the entire batch of chile verde, with the sauce and meat, then add the pork back to the pan. If not, get a large soup pot and add the onion mixture and the pork to it. Add the oregano to the pan.
Add the tomatillo chile verde sauce to the pork and onions. Add the chicken stock (enough to cover the meat). Add a pinch of ground cloves. Add a little salt and pepper. (Not too much as the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit.)
Simmer 2-3 hours:
Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender.
Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Spanish rice and warmed flour tortillas or freshly made corn tortillas.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 32g||41%|
|Saturated Fat 11g||55%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||10%|
|Total Sugars 6g|
|Vitamin C 24mg||119%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|