Sunday, December 23, 2012

Chili Verde (2)

I know I haven't been posting, in reality I haven't been doing much original cooking.  It's been a busy year in a number of ways.  However, my office decided to have a carry in over several days so I decided to do a Chili Verde.  Now I have a recipe for one that I like and has been well received in the past, but I couldn't get my favorite Chili Verde ingredient, Tomatillos.  Instead of being in the dumps over it, I decided to do a little experimenting and take a new approach.  In addition it got me posting again here :-)

So the ingredients:
  • 10 Anaheim Chiles
  • 3-4 lbs of Pork Shoulder
  • 2 Onions
  • 6 Garlic cloves 
  • 2 Tbs cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbs white pepper
  • 4 cups of Chicken Broth
I know,  a pretty light ingredient list, but I was really figuring this as a good starter and something to build on.  Once I was tasted the end result, I won't be doing much different the next time.

OK, now on to the cooking:
  • Roast the chiles on a gas flame, charring the skin.  Place the chiles in a plastic bag or a tightly covered bowl and allow to steam for about 10 minutes.  Once steamed, the skin pretty well peels right off.  So peel and seed the chiles.  Rough chop and set aside.  Note, you can used canned green chiles, but they cannot compare in flavor to roasted fresh chiles!
  • While the chiles are steaming, place the cumin seeds in a dry frying pan and roast for a couple pf minutes.  As soon as you can smell them, get them off the heat and out of the pan.  Be quick because they can burn quickly once they become fragrant.  Place in a spice grinder and reduce to a powder. 
  • Trim the pork shoulder and cut the meat into 1 in cubes.  Save the bone.  Salt and pepper the meat and then brown in batches using a little olive oil.  I used a large dutch oven.  Save the meat in a bowl to also capture any juices following the browning.
  • Rough chop the onions and saute in a little oil in the dutch over.  Scrape the bottom of the pan as the onions soften and release liquid.  This should take about 5 minutes or so.  I am not after browning as much as I am softening. 
  • Finely chop the garlic and add to the onion.  
  • Then add the cumin and white pepper.  Stir for about 30 seconds until the garlic is fragrant.
  • Add in the roasted chiles.
  • Add enough chicken broth to deglaze the pan, then add the rest of the broth.
  • Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about an hour.  The meat should be right at the stage of falling apart!
  • If it seems fatty, you can scoop the solids out with a spider and run the broth through a gravy separator.  If it seems thin, you can crank up the heat and reduce it a bit.  Your own experience will tell more than I can at this point.  
It worked well.  If it seems thin and maybe more like a soup, it goes well over rice.  I usually thicken the broth a bit through cooking rather than any thickening agents.  I like it plain!  It's not very spicy hot, which is OK once in a while.  I think I might experiment with some mixed green chiles.  But as a simple straight forward recipe., it worked surprisingly well.

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