Green Chile – Vegetarian or Pork

March 16, 2011  •  Meat & Poultry, Soup, Vegetables

I don’t know why I get such a craving for certain foods, but green chile seems to be high on my list lately. Fortunately my daughter showed up last week with several of her snowboarding friends from Europe which gave me an excuse to make a huge pot of green chile. It also gave me a sous chef in the kitchen for all of the dicing to prep the ingredients.Don’t be deterred by the longish list of ingredients here – you basically throw it all together and let it cook. Plus the recipe makes a fairly large batch, so you’ll have plenty for leftovers or to freeze. I wanted to make my green chile with pork, so started with dicing up some of that wonderful pork from Monroe Organic Farms. I used what I had on hand – blade steak and leg steak – although it doesn’t much matter what you used for this recipe. Just trim off most of the fat.If you are cutting the meat off the bone like I was, save the bones to simmer in the chile while it’s cooking. They add great flavor and can be tossed right before you are ready to serve.Start my cooking the diced onions in some olive oil. If you have it on hand and are making a meat based chile, then adding a bit of bacon fat really enhances the flavor. Then add the pork (if you are using it) to the onions and cook together until the pork starts to brown all over. Add the flour and stir together to cook for just a minute before adding everything else.Diced green chiles. Minced garlic. Chopped fresh jalapenos.Tomatoes. Chicken stock. Spices.You can use either tomatillos or green tomatoes, but since I always have bags of frozen green tomato puree left over from the prior season, I opted to use that.And chopped green onions. Stir it all together, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for an hour or more to really bring the flavors together and tenderize the chunks of meat.Right before serving adjust the seasonings and stir in the chopped cilantro.I like mine without alot of additions, except maybe some sharp cheddar cheese, but my daughter likes to pile some avocado on top as well – and if you like, you can certainly add a dollop of sour cream for good measure. Make this fast before it’s too warm out to eat belly-warming foods like this!

Green Chile
Serves 8-10 (if adding pork)

The heat of chiles varies widely from region to region and season to season, and everyone has a different tolerance level for heat. You may want to add more tomatoes or decrease the chiles if you are sensitive, or add more jalapenos and chiles if you want to kick it up a notch!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons bacon grease
4 pounds pork, chopped (shoulder, chops, blade steak, leg steak)
1 large onion, diced small
1/4 cup flour
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
14 ounces chicken stock
28 ounces stewed tomatoes, or more if you prefer it milder
4 cups green tomatoes, pureed
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 cups diced green chiles, or slightly less if you prefer it milder
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat and add pork and onions. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is browned and onions are softened. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes, then add all remaining ingredients except cilantro and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper and stir in cilantro. Serve as a soup or over eggs, burritos, and more.

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