Chilly Weather = Chile Weather!

Back in the day, I was a vegetarian for 6 or 7 years.  Then one day I was at a farmer’s market in Walla Walla, Washington with one of my best friends and she told me that she was eating the best thing she had ever tasted.  That thing was a freshly made pork sausage with sweet onions, all locally sourced.  I took a bite and declared that I was no longer a vegetarian.

My point is that if there was ever a reason for eating meat, it’s pork.  Pork is delicious!  It is also incredibly versatile, running the gamut from decadently fatty bacon (which I like to think of as the candy of meats) to lean and healthy tenderloin.  The tenderloin does get less healthy when you wrap it in bacon like I usually do, but that is beside the point.   I still eat vegetarian a good chunk of the time (because vegetables are awesome), but every once in a while pork really sounds good.  And by every once in a while I mean this week.

I had about 3.5 pounds of pork tenderloin in my freezer that needed to be used and when my husband said he was in the mood for Mexican food, I hit upon the perfect solution: chile verde.  Chile verde is basically a stew with pork, various peppers, garlic, and tomatillos.  It can be eaten straight up in stew form or used as a taco filling.  It is also a perfect slow cooker recipe.

I used this recipe from the Food Network as the basis for my chile verde, although I made a few alterations.  For one thing, I love the flavor of roasted chiles, so I roasted all the peppers along with the tomatillos.  I took before and after pictures of this but then accidentally deleted them from my camera.  Doh!  It was pretty straightforward, though.  I just cut all the peppers into chunks and threw them under the broiler on a sheet pan.  Another alteration I made was whirring the tomatillos in the food processor rather than chopping them.  Also, after I sauteed the vegetables I deglazed the pan with tequila.  Then everything went into the crock pot.

I set it for 3 hours on high, but you could also set it for ~6-8 hours on low and it would work fine.  At this point you could call it done and serve it as a stew.  We wanted it for tacos, however, so I strained out the solids using a colander.

Then I pulled out all the pork pieces and shredded them using two forks.

Once all the pork was shredded, the peppers and onions got added back in.  I also added a little of the broth to give it some moisture (I reserved the rest of the broth for tortilla soup).  Once that was done, I did a final seasoning and called it good.

We’ve been eating this as a taco filling with corn tortillas, fresh lime, cilantro, & a little jack cheese and it is awesome!  It’s also really good with eggs for sort of a huevos rancheros style breakfast.

Do you like to use a slow cooker?  What are your go-to recipes?


3 thoughts on “Chilly Weather = Chile Weather!

  1. Posole is another great Mexican slow-cooker recipe. Here’s the one I use:

    Serves 10

    ◦ 1 ½ lbs pork
    ◦ ½ lb chicken meat
    ◦ 4 garlic cloves, chopped
    ◦ 1 Tbl cumin powder
    ◦ 1 Tbl cumin seeds
    ◦ 1 onion, chopped
    ◦ 2 Tbls oil
    ◦ ½ tsp black pepper
    ◦ ½ tsp cayenne
    ◦ 2 Tbls chili powder
    ◦ 1 Tbl salt
    ◦ 1 tsp oregano
    ◦ 4 cups canned white hominy, drained and rinsed
    ◦ 3 -5 cups broth, from cooked pork/chicken
    ◦ 2-4 cups chicken stock (as needed)
    ◦ 1 cup canned diced green chilies
    ◦ 2 poblano chiles, sliced thin or chopped
    ◦ Salt
    ◦ 2 whole fresh jalapenos, chopped (optional)

    1. Chop onion, garlic, chop the onion, poblanos and jalapenos (if using); drain and rinse hominy
    2. Put pork and chicken in a large pan and cover with lightly salted water
    3. Add 1/2 chopped onion, 2 cloves garlic, pepper, cumin, and oregano
    4. Bring to a boil over medium heat, skim off any foam that rises, reduce heat; cover and simmer for 45 minutes
    5. Remove pork and chicken, reserving broth
    7. Saute remaining onion and garlic in oil until translucent
    8. Add the remaining spices, stir for a minute
    9. Cut the reserved pork and chicken into 1-inch cubes and add to the pan
    10. Stir in hominy, pork broth (add chicken broth as needed), green chilies and jalapenos (optional)
    11. Simmer, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes; continue cooking at lowest heat until ready to serve, adding broth as necessary. Taste for salt, spices. Garnishes:

    • lime wedges
    • sliced radishes
    • chopped cilantro
    • oregano
    • shredded green cabbage
    • warm corn tortillas
    • tomatoes
    • green onions
    • sour cream
    • pico de gallo

  2. Your green chili pork sounds great. I like your suggestion for using it with huevoes rancheros. Its funny that there are a lot of us thinking the same way…I just made a green chili pozole.

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