As my readers know, I grew up in Texas, the birthplace of chili. In Texas we make what is known as red chili. Proper Texas chili has no beans (perhaps I shouldn’t, but I must admit that beans in a chili don’t offend me), and it is always a tomato based sauce with beef. I grew up eating versions of red chili. Recently, I learned about green chili. This chili originated in the state of New Mexico. It has no tomatoes, and uses pork instead of beef. The green comes from green chiles (a lot of them!) and tomatillos.
One day I got it in my head that I wanted to make this chili and see what it was all about. So I ventured to Whole Foods for the ingredients. I walked out of there with an armload of chiles and a big hunk of pork shoulder. I think the checkout girl was wondering if I was making weapons at home!
I spent a lovely afternoon simmering this chili, making the whole house smell delectable. I still wasn’t sure what to expect as far as taste. Let me tell you, it was sooo good. Spicy and fiery from the chiles, succulent tender pork shoulder, all enveloped with a thick gravy that was cooked to a perfect consistency. We fought over the leftovers. Green chili is distinctly different from red chili, but I highly recommend it! I do apologize for the picture, for whatever reason it didn’t photograph well. Do not let that dissuade you from trying it. Enjoy!
Source: The Homesick Texan blog (not cookbook)
4 lbs of boneless pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 lb of poblano peppers (about 5)
4-10 serrano peppers stemmed and seeded (I used 8)
4-10 jalapeno peppers stemmed and seeded (I used 8)
1 lb tomatillos cut in 1/8ths (about 6 to 8)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
6 tablespoons of cumin
2 tablespoon of Mexican oregano
2/3 to 1 cup of cilantro
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of dark beer
1/4 cup of masa harina
Salt and white pepper to taste
Peanut oil, olive oil or lard for frying
Roast the poblanos over the flame on a gas stove, until blackened, and then place in a mixing bowl, cover with seran wrap and leave alone for about 20 minutes. After this, the skins will come right off. Then dice the peeled poblanos, removing seeds and membranes. Meanwhile, dice the jalapenos and serranos in a small food processor or by hand. Mix them with the diced poblano.
In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, saute the onion in peanut oil until cooked, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes more. Turn off the pot.
In a cast-iron skillet, lightly brown the pork on each side in lard (or the fat of your choice – I used canola oil) for a couple of minutes and then add to the soup pot. You will probably have to do this in batches.
Once all the pork has been lightly browned and added to the soup pot, add two cups of chicken broth and 1 cup of dark beer. Also throw in the pot the tomatillos, 3 tablespoons of cumin, 1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano and half of your chile mixture.
Turn on the stove to medium and bring chili to a boil and then turn heat down to low.
Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
After an hour, add 3 tablespoons of cumin, 1 tablespoon of Mexican oregano, 1/3 cup of cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for half an hour uncovered on low, stirring occasionally. At this point, you’ll probably notice a nice brown oil slick on the top of the pot. Skim the fat by sticking in a ladle and dragging it over the surface. This isn’t foolproof, but it gets rid of most of the fat.
After half an hour, throw in the rest of the green chiles in the pot and add another 1/3 cup of cilantro. Cook for another half an hour to 45 minutes.
In a separate dish, mix the masa harina with some of the chili liquid until a thick paste is formed. Slowly stir this into the chili until it’s well incorporate without any lumps. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Garnish with crumbled Cotija cheese and sour cream.