Monday, November 16, 2009

green with envy no more

My Aunt Virgie makes the most amazing Chili Verde. Apparently, my mother had taught her the recipe and she made it her own. I always planned on having mom teach me, but before I knew it, it was too late and mom had passed away. Well, on a recent visit with my aunt, Graham got to talking with her about the infamous dish and made plans with her to have a lesson. So, one day we headed up with freshly roasted Anaheim chilies and pork in hand. Graham made a point of writing everything down despite the wine we were consuming.

So, last night we attempted it on our own and it was a BIG success.

35 fresh Anaheim chilies roasted and skinned *
5 pounds of cubed (1/2 inch) pork shoulder or country style pork ribs
15 garlic cloves minced
Vegetable oil and butter
Garlic Salt and Pepper
Water as needed.

* Please note, roasting the chilies is a core part of the recipe and the result will not be the same. It does require some labor and dedication to igredients, but it is soooo worth it.

Remove the stem, but retain the seeds and veins for the heat. I shredded the chilies by hand into strips.

Generously ‘garlic’ salt and pepper the meat. Toss with your hands to ensure even coverage.

Sprinkle ¼ cup of flour over the meat and also toss with hands for even coverage.

In a large heavy bottom Dutch oven type pan over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and brown the pork in batches so they are evenly covering the bottom and evenly browned.

You will have bits browning on the bottom. Once all the pork has been browned, add water in ½ cup increments as needed to the pan and boil to pick up all the brown bits. Continue until the all the brown bits have come up and are now a brown broth.

Add back all the pork and the garlic to the broth in the pan and mix well to incorporate. Add the strips of peppers and mix again. Heat the mixture until boiling, and then lower the heat to a very low simmer and cover.

Occasionally stir for an hour and then remove the lid, increase the heat just a bit and then continue to simmer and stir for another hour.

Once the liquid/sauce is at the consistency of your choice, the chilies have broken down and the pork is fork tender, add salt to taste. By following the ½ cup water measurement, the consistency would lean more toward a broth consistency rather than a sauce/gravy consistency. To balance the flavor, add ½ to one tablespoon of sugar.