One thing I love about fall and winter weather is that it’s an excuse to make hearty soups and stews. And probably my very favorite stew is pork chile verde. There are lots of different variations on chile verde. For example, I use tomatoes in mine while some people prefer tomatillos. Feel free to experiment with this recipe and make it your own.
10-12 Anaheim peppers (you could also add a couple of pasilla or poblano peppers if you’d like)
3-4 jalapeno peppers
1/3 cup oil or lard
1 1/2 pounds boneless pork stew meat
2 tbsp. masa harina or flour
1 large diced yellow onion
3 minced garlic cloves
1 cup diced tomato (optional)
3 cups chicken broth or water
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. red chile powder
salt and pepper to taste
1. I use fresh chile peppers. Of course, you could substitute canned peppers, but the flavors will not be as rich. If using fresh peppers, begin by roasting them on a grill, over a gas flame or under the oven broiler. Get them nicely charred. Then, seal the peppers in a plastic bag until they cool down enough to handle. The peppers will steam in the bag, making it easy to peel the charred skins.
2. Peel the skins from the peppers and remove the stems and seeds. It’s easier if you do this under running water, but some cooks say it takes away some of the charred flavor from the peppers – your choice. Chop the peppers. For this recipe, I used 8 Anaheim peppers, 2 pasilla peppers and 4 jalapenos. It’s fun to experiment with different types of chile peppers for different flavors.
3. In a bowl, mix the pork with a couple of tablespoons of masa harina or flour. This will help to eventually thicken the chile verde.
4. Heat the oil or lard in a large pot and brown the pork over medium-high heat.
5. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and continue to cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes, chiles, chicken broth or water and spices to the mix and bring to a low boil. Lower the heat and simmer the chile verde for 2 hours or more, partially covered, until it thickens and the color becomes noticeably richer.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with warm tortillas.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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