C’s Chile Verde

Pork and green chili stew = happy

Hey Everybody! Long time no blog. Yeah, life has a way of taking over when one isn’t blogging. And also, one is kind of lazy. But one – okay me, well I’m back and I’ve brought with me an actual cooking video. As we find ourselves firmly entrenched in fall with winter on the horizon, I give to you the gift of chile verde. It’s a spicy and savory pork and chili stew – I prefer the Spanish spelling when naming the dish, the Anglo spelling when talking about actual chilis. It’s the perfect meal to keep you warm and satisfied on the inside and happy to be alive. Yeah, it’s pretty powerful stuff. Also, it’s bien rico (rather, extremely delicious).

I first encountered chile verde as a wee lad growing up in San Jose, CA when my parents took my sister and I to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Burro.  Now having experienced a lot of good (and terrible – in NYC for sure) Mexican food, I’m not sure El Burro would necessarily hold up as a great Mexican restaurant. But there’s something about that dimly lit cavern of a restaurant – with it’s big leather bucket seats,  the pictures of bull fighters and rustic country scenes on the walls and the tortillas chips served with the most watery and bland (in retrospect) salsa – that holds a special place in my heart.  I remember my dad would always order the chile verde which consisted of tender cubes of pork served in a sea of really hot (temperature-wise) mildly spicy green sauce.  In between mouthfuls of chorizo enchilada (my go to dish at the time) I remember tasting the stewed pork and thinking, “not bad, not bad at all!”  Since those formative years, chile verde has become one of my go to dishes both when I order it, say stuffed inside a chimichanga or as a stand alone stew that I love to cook myself.  So, what follows is my version of chile verde,  a recipe that I’ve kind of developed over the last few years through trial and error and tasting of other versions of chile verde. For example, I used to not use tomatillos but after eating chile verde with tomatillos,  I now find them to be a a vital ingredient imparting the necessary acid or tartness that counter balances the spiciness of the chili and the richness of the pork.  So without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients: (as usual amounts are approximate)
1 head of garlic
2 mid sized onions
5-6 poblano chilis
1 1/2 lbs of tomatillos (can use tomatillo salsa)
1 1/2 pounds of potatoes
3-4 carrots
4 lbs of pork shoulder meat
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Oregano to taste
2-3 tablespoons of vinegar (for marinating the pork)

This is how I do it:

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I Like Pig Butts and I cannot lie…

… so delicious you can’t deny!
This is the story of how one and a half pork shoulders (butts) became numerous pulled pork sandwiches that were consumed by many people whom upon tasting the tender meat looked towards the heavens and asked the Creator, “Is this, oh All Knowing One, the secret to life?”

Intrigued?  Well, click on the photo below for the full story and the video of how this transcendent meal came to be.

Tender pulled pork sandwhich with homemade barbecues sauce dill pickles and red cabbage cole slaw.

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Pigging Out With Family and Friends

Alright, as promised, here’s the post about what we did after we watched the pig breakdown at Kokkari.  Though this post is a week later than the previous one, in reality the events about which you will soon read and see an amazing video occurred a  few days after our tutorial when the lesson and the excitement was still fresh.  You see, we got our very own little pig to play with!  And by “play with”  I mean, butcher and cook delicious pig dishes out of.  Hmm, that sounds a little messed up doesn’t it? Well anyway, it was fun and judging by the grunts and the way our friends’ eyes rolled back in ecstasy as they feasted on the meal we prepared, it was indeed delicious.  Click on the photo below for the full story.

Porchetta!

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