Tonight I chose to make this version of Chile Verde from the Best of Sunset Cookbook magazine. They call it a pork stew. I had a friend in nursing school who said you should always order chile verde when trying a new Mexican restaurant. If they can’t make it right, they probably can’t make anything else right either. Or, maybe she said that about carnitas, or carne asada, I can’t remember. Nursing school was a long time ago.
Anyway, I love green chiles but Michael does not, often commenting about not liking “green things” in his food. Too bad, I am committed to the project and, green things or not, I prepared this dish. I served it over steamed rice with flour tortillas on the side. We tucked the tender chunks of pork into buttered tortillas and let the rice soak up the sauce. Michael “liked the flavor” and I thought it was the best version of chile verde I have ever eaten.
Photo by Chicken Squawk
I do have a tip for prepping the chiles for cooking. I learned this from Bobby Flay. Or, maybe it was Emeril or Mario. I can’t remember, but, chances are it was on The Food Network since it is on 24/7 at my house.
First you place the washed chiles directly on the flame of your gas cooktop or grill. Leave it until it chars, then turn it with tongs until all sides are charred.
As soon as you take it off the flame place the chile in a plastic bag. Continue with the remainder of the chiles. The heat from the chiles will cause them to steam in the bag.
As soon as they are cool enough to handle, take them out and rinse under running water. The charred skins will fall right off leaving you lovely “green things,” ready to chop or use whole in your recipe.
Green Chile Pork Stew (Chile Verde)
Recipe from The Sunset Cookbook
Serves: 6 to 8
Time: 2½ hours
- 4 lbs. boned pork shoulder (butt), fat trimmed and cut into 2-in. cubes
- 2 to 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, as needed
- 3 onions (2 lbs. total), cut into 1â„4-in. wedges
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 can (28 oz.) peeled whole tomatoes
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) chicken broth
- 1½ lbs. Anaheim or poblano chiles (about 10), peeled (see tip below) and chopped; or 4 cans (7 oz. each) whole green chiles, drained and chopped
- 2 tbsp. chopped oregano leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped cilantro
- Lime wedges
1. In a 6- to 8-qt. pan, combine pork with 1â„3 cup water. Cover and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is very juicy, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and cook, stirring often, until liquid is evaporated and meat is browned, 20 to 30 minutes. Lift out meat and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to medium. If you have leftover rendered pork fat in the pan, discard all but 3 tbsp.; if not, add oil. Add onions, garlic, and cumin; stir and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 8 minutes.
3. Return meat and any accumulated juices to pan. Add tomatoes (with their juice) and broth. Break up tomatoes with a spoon. Bring almost to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer, cover, and cook 1 hour.
4. Stir in chiles and oregano. Cover and cook until pork is very tender when pierced and flavors are blended, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges to squeeze over chile.
Quick Tip: To peel chiles, remove stems, slice in half lengthwise, then remove ribs and seeds. Lay cut side down on a cookie sheet and broil 4 to 5 in. from heat until black and blistered, 5 to 8 minutes. Let chiles cool, then peel.