Thursday, December 24, 2009

Chile verde ~


I believe there is a new Christmas tradition in the Bittersweet home. If one doesn't care for turkey, ham or red meat for holiday dinners, what is left? Why Chili Verde of course! We love this dish, it is a favorite with the young ones in the house. "We're the Bittersweet Kids!", as the littlest one calls herself and her siblings. Persistent cute little ones...wanting homemade flour tortillas for Christmas eve dinner...homemade salsa...oh, yes, it goes on.

The new tradition ~

1 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husked and washed
Oil, neutral such a vegetable or canola
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 serrano or jalepeno, rough chop, seeds kept are optional if you want the extra heat
1/2 - 1 c. rough chopped cilantro, some stems are fine
3/4 c. chicken stock
3 + garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped
3 lbs. pork shoulder - shoulder, shoulder, shoulder, shoulder - this is the tastiest cut. If you cannot find this, butt will do. (Don't we need to rename that, yet? Hind? Back roast? Moving on...)

  • Lightly oil tomatillos, place on a foil lined baking sheet. Roast in a 425-450 degree oven until soft and charred - 20-25 minutes. This will depend on how accurate your oven is. If you don't want to wait until they are charred, soft is fine. They will be oozing their tart delicious insides, skins broken.
  • Pre-heat the oven down to 325 degrees.
  • Generously salt and pepper the pork roast, sear in a saute pan with hot oil. Let it brown on all sides. If you feel you want to cut the roast into two smaller pieces, go sear and then braise, fine & dandy.
  • In a food processor, add the roasted tomatillos, cilantro, stock, jalepeno, garlic, additional salt and pepper if needed. Taste before using it to braise the roast, adjust if necessary.
  • In a stock pot, place the browned roast, the onions and tomatillo sauce, cover. This part is up to you. It will be done in as little as three hours, but I use bigger pieces and let it go at least four hours.
  • Here's the Me Part. I don't serve this the day I make it. I let it cool in the pan and refrigerate over night. It will congeal. The next day I will remove the pork and pull it apart in large-ish chunck (golf ball size) and put it back in the pot, then slowly reheat it.
  • Depending on how long you let it braise in the first cooking, how long you let it re-heat and how big the chunks are, you will either have chunky pork or shredded pork. Full of flavor either way.
My pictures above show swimming pork. I did 4x the recipe on that particular occasion. Perfect for freezing some to have on hand when the day is long and those cute little Bittersweet kids are usual. Someday they are going to find out that most people do not make flour tortillas. That will make them come back home once in a while ~ *weg*


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