Pork Chile Verde
One of the best things about America is Mexican food. I can get sick of a lot of different things but I am always in the mood for Mexican food. It’s complex, has tons of great flavor, and you can easily make it very healthy. There are some interesting overlaps between Mexican and Indian food, which may explain my affinity for it: the warm spices, the cilantro, the loads, and loads of onions and garlic. There are also some very distinct differences, such as the preference for more sourness. This chile verde, with lots of tomatillos, is a perfect example.
This stew is a fall and winter favorite at our home. Fork-tender chunks of pork shoulder, in a gorgeous sauce - what’s not to like? Like most stews, pork chile verde tastes even better the second day but if you’re a normal human being, you’ll have trouble leaving any for later. I’ve served this as is here but you can serve this with a bowl of rice or some tortillas, along with some avocados. The sauce itself would also work well in enchiladas or as just a salsa for some tortilla chips.
1.5-2 lb pork shoulder or "stew meat"
2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil
3 poblano peppers
1 green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper
1 yellow onion + 1/4 onion chopped, to garnish
4-6 cloves of garlic
2 tsp ground coriander
1.5 tsp ground cumin
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime
Cilantro to garnish
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Prepare the vegetables - roughly chop the onion and peppers, quarter the tomatillos, and crush the garlic cloves. Spead all of the vegetables on a cookie sheet, drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil, and season with all of the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Toss well and roast in the oven for 40 mins.
While the vegetables are roasting, prepare the meat. Cut the pork into chunks and heat up a stainless steel or cast-iron pot. Add a tsp of olive oil and once almost smoking, add half the meat. Brown about 3 mins on each side, season lightly with salt and pepper, and remove into a bowl. Add the second tsp of olive oil, brown the second batch of pork the same way, and set aside.
In the same pot, bring the broth and water to a low boil. By this time, the vegetables should be roasted. Add all of the roasted vegetables into the pot of broth. Let it come to a low boil again and using an immersion blender, make a smooth sauce. If you do not have a blender, puree the sauce in batches in a blender.
Next, add the browned pork into the sauce. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot with a lid, and let it cook for 1 hour. Check about 30 mins in and stir the pot, to prevent anything from sticking. Next, remove the lid and cook for an additional 20 mins. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the lime juice. Add more salt, if needed.
Let the stew cool down and serve with chopped white onions, cilantro, and some extra wedges of lime.