If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can afford the luxury of being a Mexican Food, food snob, you’ve had conversations about who had or has The Best. Does Del Palmar have the best Chile Colorado, or is it Trevino’s? Today, I believe it would be Trevino’s. Looking for the best papusas in Richmond? The debate is still going on to this day. However, if you’re looking for the best chile verde? There’s only one place to be, Meathenge.
This last weekend Chilebrown mentioned he was going to make chile verde using a smoked pork shoulder he brought back from Oregon. Aw man, I didn’t want to be left out and it was grinding me. Chile verde is one of my all time favorites for a very fresh, bright and rich pork chile. It’s so darned easy to make too. Sure some of the prep is a bit tedious, but it’s not too critical as long as you simmer it long and slow. Heck, I made up the ingredients in my head as I was at the grocery store early Saturday morning. I didn’t have my recipe I used last time as a reference, but I got darned close.
4 pounds pork shoulder
1 large white onions
6 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin more or less
4 medium poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
2 Jalapenos or chipotle or any combo of any of those
2 Quarts chicken broth or enough to mostly fill your dutch oven
2 – 3 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed
Here at the beginning it gets kinda busy. You’ll be doing about 3 things here at the same time. So, get your hand towels and maybe a timer handy, clean working spaces, 2 or 3 cutting boards ready, at least 2 good sized kitchen knives. In other words, get your meez in tight and organized.
You’ll want to char the skins of your poblanos for max flavors, find an open flame somewhere. Start a fire in your back yard if you have to, get it? Once they’re blackened, toss in to a paper or cloth sack for 10 minutes.
While you’re roasting the peppers, take the husks off the tomatillos & wash. Pat them dry and stick in roaster pan, install in hot broiler until blackened a bit. Each broiler is different, mine could be considered a nuclear fire smelter oven. I set my timer to 5 minutes, so I don’t forget and ruin the only tomatillos I have.
The aromas you receive are wonderful from start to finish and all along the way. Except maybe for the charred poblano skins, that ain’t so awesome.
While the peppers are roasting and the tomatillos are broiling, pull out your pork shoulder and cube it up, 1″ cubes please. Variation is good, I don’t like things too homogenous. So, if some are small or larger, it don’t matter. Add a TBLS of oil to a large hot skillet and brown up your pork, it’ll probably take two waves to get it done.
Add the minced garlic to the end of the meat’s cooking cycle, set aside. Saute the chopped onions until just barely brown and add to meat. Check tomatillos, when collapsed and blackened a bit add them to your resting meatses or whiz in a blender if you only have a few hours to simmer. Remember to pour in the juices from the roasting pan, hey.
Your poblanos are probably done by now. I used a butter knife to scrape off the blackened skin then slice in to 1/2″ pieces. I believe rinsing the peppers under the water removes some flavor, so no rinse for Biggles. It’s up to you though, I’ve done it both ways and the water helps a lot.
Prepare your hot chiles, slice open, out go the seeds, remove veins (if you like the heat reduced a bit) and mince up nicely. I used some of my own smoked chile peppers that I had stashed. I found something that Chilebrown gave me too. I believe the blend is of African decent, something he picked up from Tierra Vegetables a while back. It’s a sun dried tomato blend with chile peppers that had been smoked, VERY nice addition here. Although, probably not all that traditional. After perusing their web site a bit I wasn’t able to come up with the name or product, dang.
At this point add in the cumin, s&p. Get this warmed up over medium heat before you add the broth. I do this mostly just to play with the stew or chile. Use your spoon to move it around. Does there seem to be enough poblano? Or hot chile peppers? Not that there’s much we could do, but you want to see if the amounts are harmonious. If it meets your scrutinage, it’s time for the broth. See, I’m a big fan of gravy and sauce. This means I’ll tend to go heavy on the fat and or broth and I end up add enough broth to more than cover the ingredients. And in this case, probably about 1.5 to 2″ over. If I was going to simmer this for only an hour or two, I’d add far less. Move pot to back burner set to low, lid on cattywompus so steam can escape. Stir occasionally until done, 3 to 5 hours. It’s done when the broth is thick how you like it and the flavor makes your toes curl.
Here we are, dinner time with the world’s best damned chile verde you could possibly want. I ate most of mine with a huge wooden spoon out of a bowl garnished with minced cilantro and cheese. Green chile love discovered first hand, nothing finer. Are you going to try some?