NEW MEXICO GREEN CHILI WITH PORK
Having never been to New Mexico, I am by no means an expert on green chili. While I’ve made a Mexican version of chile verde in the past with the addition of tomatillos, this authentic New Mexico version relies exclusively on the smokey, complex flavor of roasted green chiles.
My sister, having visited the Southwest on several occasions, oftentimes regales me with stories “of the best tasting green chili on the planet” and boasts about the fact that you can get “roasted green chilies on anything.” Judging by how fanatical the inhabitants of the state are about food in general and especially their famous green sauce, I have no doubt that I would fit right in.
Knowing how fascinated I am by the humble, yet satisfying cuisine of he Southwest, one of the first cookbooks my girlfriend ever purchased for me was Huntley Dent’s, The Feast of Santa Fe: Cooking of the American Southwest. While the picadillo recipe has already become one of our all-time favorite weeknight meals, after preparing this authentic green chili, we just might have discovered our new, slow-cooked Sunday sauce. If the sound or look of this dish doesn’t get you excited, throw some green chilies in the oven to roast and their intoxicating aroma certainly will.
NEW MEXICO GREEN CHILI WITH PORK
Adapted from Huntley Dent’s, The Feast of Santa Fe: Cooking of the American Southwest
When roasting fresh chilies, I prefer to use the stove top gas burner to char off the skin. However, when dealing with this many chilies, the only feasible kitchen solution is to use the broiler. After roasting, I typically steam the chilies in a bowl covered tightly in plastic wrap. For this recipe, I suggest placing them into a paper grocery bag. Once you’re ready to chop the roasted chile flesh, use a food processor to pulse them down to your desired consistency.
- 1 lb pork shoulder roast, cut into one-inch cubes
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons jalapeños, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups chicken or pork broth
- 2 cups roasted and peeled green chilies, obtained from 18 -20 Anaheim, California or poblano chiles
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Roast the chilies: Turn your broiler on to high. Begin by placing half of the fresh green chilies on a cookie sheet and placing them under your preheated broiler for 5 minutes, or until the chilies are charred on one side. Remove the pan from the oven and flip chilies to char their underside, about another 5 minutes. Remove chilies from the oven to a brown paper bag and close tightly to allow the skin to steam away from the flesh. Repeat with the remaining chilies.
- Once the all the chiles have cooled, remove them from the paper bag and stem the chilies, removing the charred skin and seeds.
- Place the cleaned, roasted chile flesh to a bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until you have reached your desired texture. Set roasted chiles aside.
- Brown the Pork: Heat the oil in a large pot over high heat. Lightly season the cubes of pork with salt and add them to the pot, cooking until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Once browned, remove pork from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off any excess fat, leaving 1/4 cup remaining.
- Make the green chili: Add the onions, jalapeños and garlic to the remaining oil in the pot. Cover and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes to sweat the onions. Check halfway to make sure they are not browning.
- Raise the heat to medium and stir in the flour, cumin and black pepper, and cook, stirring for 2 minutes to cook the rawness out of the flour and scrape up any browned bits. When the onion and flour mixture just begin to color, remove the pot from the heat and gradually pour in the broth, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps.
- Return the pork to the pot along with the roasted chilies, oregano and salt. Place the pot back over moderate heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened a bit and the pork is tender. Make sure to stir the sauce occasionally while simmering.
- The finished sauce should be thick enough to nap a spoon. If it’s too thick, thin with a bit of extra broth.
- Serve with warm flour tortillas.