Monday, January 25, 2010

Shelter from the Storm: Pork Chile Verde

San Diego was hit hard by rain storms most of last week.  Other than dealing with the idiots on the road, and high winds on the Coronado Bay Bridge, it was nice to experience some winter weather.  The storms retreated by the weekend, giving way to beautiful, sunny skies and slightly cooler temperatures.  Dooley and Diver were pleased to emerge from their Dogloos and frolic up and down Orange Avenue during our early morning walks, drying out their thick, double coats.  Can you say Wet Dogs?!

On Saturday, John and I took a drive to the Ocean Beach and Pt. Loma for some wave watching. 

Sunday was a day of relaxing and cooking, followed by an evening sharing comforting, warming bowls of Pork Chile Verde.  Last Fall, I ordered 20 lbs. of roasted New Mexican Hatch Green Chiles, through Bristol Farms, and we separated, vacuum-sealed, and froze 2 lb. packages.  I absolutely, positively, love the incredible flavor of these chiles in this dish.  It's a tad spicy for the faint-of-heart, but a dollop of sour cream tones it down.

Chile Verde
Adapted from Malo Restaurant's recipe
Serves 15

30 Hatch Green chiles, roasted
5 pounds pork shoulder
4 medium white onions, chopped
10 whole garlic cloves, crushed
4 bay leaves
4 tablespoons dried oregano
28-oz can of whole tomatoes, crushed by hand, and the juice (I like San Marzano)
4 cups water
1.5 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon, Base Chicken
Flour Tortillas (I like buying the uncooked torillas, found in the refrigerated section, and cooking in a non-stick skillet right before serving)
Sour Cream, for garnish
Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and coarsly chop, set aside.

Remove the fat from the pork shoulder and cut the fat into small pieces. In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, fry the fat until crisp, 4 or 5 minutes, and then remove the chunks of fat from the pan.

Sweat the onions and garlic in the same saute pan, cooking them in the residual pork fat. Cut the pork shoulder into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces, add them to the pan, and saute until browned. Add the bay leaves, oregano, tomatoes, and Hatch chiles. Simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes. In the meantime, heat the water and chicken base in a medium saucepan and then pour it into the chile.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours or until tender. Remove the bay leaves.

Serve in bowls, and garnish with sour cream and fresh cilantro leaves. I also served homemade pinto beans on the side.

Bring on another deluge!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is simply far too little attention paid to pork in my corner of the US Southwest Border. Thanks for this. I should post the recipe on the street-corner, to educate the locals that it's not all about beef (and flour tortillas) in this border town.