Oh chile verde, how I love thee. But my love for you has tripled this month. I am now obsessed. Obsessed, I tell you.
For the Thanksgiving break just last week, my family gathered in Taos, New Mexico for a week-long celebration of food, fam, and fun. It was amazing. My step family lives there… in this beautiful adobe home that sprawls across the high desert with stunning mountain peaks in the backdrop. I love the high desert. And the strong presence of art and spirituality in that area in general. It’s simple stunning. Beautiful.
Each night, we ate tremendously- with cocktails and appetizers to match every meal! It was my kinda happiness for sure. We went out and explored the area every day too. My husband came along this time (haha, that still sounds funny… husband!), so we wanted to show him things like the Rio Grande Gorge, the Greater Community Earthships, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, and the abundance of stunning nature and Native art around there too. And… the chile verde. We ate green chile on everything… at least once a day on something! It’s Hatch chile country, so the stuff is everywhere. Heaaaaaven.
On a side note, if you’re ever in Taos and happen to come across a band called “Vanilla Pop” there, stop and take a gander. These dudes are crazy. Goofy as goofy can get. Really. It’s a good time. 😉
As if I hadn’t had enough during my week in New Mex, the second I came home I craved yet again, more chile verde. So I tried my hand at some and I gotta say, it turned out pretty freaking bangin’. We’ve been eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for two days straight. Sadly, our batch has come to an end… thus, I will be making more within the next week, surely. We’re addicted.
I’m actually not one to cook with pork much. I tend to stick with chicken for things like this. But this guy screamed for pork. I have a chicken and green chile recipe on my blog I like (here), but I knew my New Mexican influenced chile verde needed a bit more punch. Here’s what I came up with. A similar concept, but with more authentic flair. It’s really turned out so similar to what we ate in Taos, only I subbed in Poblano peppers for Hatch chiles since we don’t have those up here in Central Ca. All in my house agree, it’s a goodie. The best New Mexican chile in California we’ve ever had. 😉
I wasn’t kidding when I said we’ve been eating this for breakfast. In more than one form! If you follow my Insta or Facebook page, you’ve probably seen that I love what I like to call ‘breakfast soups’. I’ll take my leftover soup from dinner, then add a fried egg on top in the morning and call it brecky. It’s the best. So the first morning of green chile madness, I made exactly that. Some chile with a fried egg on top, a little avocado, and some cilantro. Delicious.
The next morning though, I tried something new. Something I will definitely making again and again and again and agin in my future. I scooped some chile into a little pan, let it come to a light boil, cracked two eggs in the middle, then covered it and let them steam until cooked. At the last minute, I added in some fresh spinach and let it wilt. Then I ate it right from the pan with a little cilantro and crushed red pepper flakes on top. Seriously to die for. Amazing. I can’t wait to make that a recipe all on its own!
The classic way to gobble chile is still though one of my faves. In Taos, we often had it simple ladled over a little pile of pinto beans, topped with Monterey Jack, and spicy as can be. So good. While you could totally leave the beans out if you want, I threw some in the pot right at the end of cooking ’cause my mister loves ’em. Your call… either way is great in my lil opinion. 🙂
Tomatillos aren’t always in chile verde, but I personally love the bright tartness they add. They’re refreshing and tangy… perfect for these chile flavors!
makes approx 6-8 servings
3 lbs pork butt (keep bone in if one- sub chicken if preferred)
4 large green chile peppers, Hatch or Poblano
1 jalapeño, chopped (see note below about seeds)
5 tomatillos, husked and chopped
1 large yellow onion (1 1/2 cups chopped)
2 carrots (1 cup chopped)
1 celery stalks (1 cup chopped)
3-4 garlic cloves (1 tbsp minced)
2 tsp chili powder (see my homemade blend here)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 quart chicken broth (low sodium and high quality preferable)
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp potato starch (to thicken broth, I use THIS one)
1 tbsp olive oil
extra salt and pepper, to taste
optional garnishes: cilantro, avocado, pinto beans, jack cheese, and crema or Greek yogurt
*this makes a spicy stew… if you want less heat, remove seeds from all peppers. 🙂
Begin by roasting peppers…
If you have a gas stove or grill, you can do this by
placing them over the fire, turning slightly to char all sides
If you don’t have a gas stove (like me… argh electric), broil the peppers
until charred, turning once half way through to get both the tops and bottoms
Once charred, place the peppers in a small paper or plastic bag
Roll the bag up to let them steam… this helps get those skins off!
Set aside while you prep the remaining ingredients
Often, tomatillos are roasted before they’re added to
salsas or soups, but in this case, I just put ’em in raw…
Just peel off the husk, rinse well to get rid of the stickiness, them chop them up
Chop onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and jalapeño
(I leave the jalapeño seeds in- I like the subtle heat- if you don’t, feel free to remove them)
Add oil to a pan over medium high, then add the above veggies
Stir and cook for approx 5 minutes, until softened and fragrant
Once done, scoop them all into your Crock Pot
(While it’s not necessary to cook veggies before slow cooking, it brings out flavor, so I prefer it)
By now, your chiles should be good to go…
Rub the skin, removing all from the chile flesh
(This should be very easy… if it’s not, they need to cook longer)
Remove the stems and inner core (most seeds will leave with it… doesn’t matter if they don’t)
In the same pan you cooked the veggies in (I’ll take any excuse I can to save some dishes!),
add the pork, roughly chopped up, along with a hefty sprinkle of salt and pepper
Brown on all sides for a few minutes
Add everything to the Crock Pot
Stir the chicken broth, potato starch, cilantro, and bay leaf in with
the sautéed veggies, green chiles, and pork
Cook on high for approx 3 1/2 hours or for 5 to 7 hours on low
Once done, the pork should break up easily upon stirring,
though larger pieces may need a little extra hand
Taste and adjust as desired
Ladle up, top with whatever you like, and dig in!
(Makes great leftovers for either breakfast soup,