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Chili Verde

Spicy food cannot simply be relegated to the cool or cold months.  Most of us need a kick now and then; and this simple dish does just the trick! There are several ways to make this dish… start from the basic recipe, switch-it-up based on your level of heat tolerance, other flavor components, etc.

  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or enough to coat bottom of pot generously
  • 1 Pork Tenderloin, cut into one-inch cubes
  • 6 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, and cut into halves
  • 2 medium Spanish (yellow) onions, diced
  • 2 Jalapeños, seeds and veins removed and coarsely chopped (note: leave seeds and veins in if you want all the heat!)
  • 6 Garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a knife
  • 1 7-oz. can  of green chiles (such as Ortega diced chiles or jalapeño rings in vinegar)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • Chicken Stock, enough to cover – -about two cups

Optional ingredients:

  • Cilantro (optional), freshly minced for garnish
  • Sour Cream (optional), to spread on tortilla or serve as a cool dollop on the side
  • Tortillas (optional), good if warmed and kept warm in a cotton towel
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch (optional), if you desire a thicker version for tortilla use
  1. On a sheet pan lined with parchment, lightly oil the sliced tomatillos. Place under broiler until the skin becomes brown and blistered. Transfer to a blender and allow to cool.
  2. Coat the bottom of a heavy pot with the oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  3. Place the pork into the hot oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper; and brown them in the oil on medium-high heat.  Remove to a separate plate.
  4. In the oil, lightly sauté the garlic until just golden (do not allow to burn). Transfer garlic to the blender with the tomatillos.
  5. Add the canned green chilies and jalapeños to the blender. Blend until you have a smooth mixture.
  6. Add the onions to the oil, season with salt and pepper, add the cumin and oregano, and sauté until softened.
  7. Add the pork back to the onion sauté mixture, stir in the tomatillo mixture from the blender, and add enough chicken stock just to barely cover, scraping the bottom of the pot to get the flavor bits incorporated (we call this “fond”).  Let this simmer away until the stock reduces somewhat and the pork is fully cooked.  Stir occasionally.  Taste for seasoning and balance it with any necessary salt and pepper.

This chili verde itself can be served in a bowl, with a light dollop of sour cream and freshly minced cilantro leaves.

Alternative serving idea:

My preference is to eat the chili on a flour tortilla with a dollop of sour cream then adding some fresh cilantro to the top.  If you do it this way, while the pot is bubbling away, you’ll need to thicken it by making a slurry.  So easy.  In a bowl mix four table spoons of cornstarch with four tablespoons of ICY cold water.  Mix well so there are no lumps.  While stirring the pot, pour in the slurry.  This will thicken your stew nicely.  Just let it cook for a few extra minutes while you stir to cook out any of the cornstarch flavor.

Another idea is to deglaze the pan after the onions, chiles, and garlic have cooked with a bottle of mexican beer (think Negra Modelo).

Enjoy with an icy cold beverage of choice!

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