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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Crock Pot Pork Chile Verde with Tomatillos

This is the best thing I could think to do with the last bag of fresh tomatillos of the season. Chile verde. It's a stew that you can stick in a tortilla. And you can take a six hour nap while it cooks (go ahead and start dinner at ten o'clock in the morning)! What could be better?

Chile Verde

1 lb fresh tomatillos (roasted and blended)
8 green chiles (roasted and diced)
1 bell pepper
½ large onion (chopped)
6 cloves garlic (minced)
3 lbs boneless pork shoulder (or 4 lbs bone-in)
2 tsp dried oregano
black pepper

Get all your veggies ready.

The easiest way to roast chiles that I've found is to lay them out in a pan and put them directly under the broiler for five to ten minutes a side or until the skins have blackened and started to peel away from the flesh (the goal is to burn the skins without totally blackening the flesh of the pepper). When all the peppers have blackened take them out of the oven, set them in a bowl and cover it (the steam form the peppers will loosen the skins). When the peppers are cool enough to handle, about ten minutes or so, peel the skins off, pull the seeds out, dice them up and set them aside.

While the peppers are steaming, you can give the tomatillos a similar treatment. Peel the husks off, rinse the tomatillos and put them on the roasting pan. Put them under the broiler for five to ten minutes or until they start to brown and break down. You don't have to worry about peeling the skins off of these, so just let them cool on the baking sheet, then throw them in a blender or food processor to render them into pulp.

Put the whole pork shoulder* in the crock pot (isn't that nice? You don't have to do a damned thing to it unless you decided to trim it which is your call and no one will judge you [I'm totally judging you]). Drop in your chopped onions and minced garlic. Sprinkle on your oregano. Toss in your roasted peppers and pour in the blended tomatillos. Season with black pepper and salt. Put the lid on, and crank the dial to "On" or  "Slow Cook" or "Low" or whatever kind of unexciting setting you have available (but not "Warm"). Now you can forget about it for six hours or so.

When the meat pulls apart easily, it's done. Eat it with black beans, rice, pineapple slaw, fried potatoes, guacamole, fresh salsa, cilantro, rolled in a burrito, over eggs or in any other fashion you find appeals to your pie hole. You can eat it for a week and not get tired of it.

*The pork shoulder or pork butt (as it's sometimes called) is the perfect roast for the slow cooker. You're unlikely (at least in our neck of the woods) to find this cut with the bone in, but should you happen upon it in the grocery store, snap it up. Bones add flavor to the meat and especially the liquid in your crock pot. Be warned: this is a fatty cut of meat and generally comes with a rind of fat on one side. So if you have a fear of fat (fat is flavor!) you might want to trim some of that rind off, or ask them to do it at the meat counter when you pick it up.