My first taste of chile verde, was not from home, but from a restaurant/tortilleria, Ramonas, that my Dad did jobs for. They would hire him to repair their commercial size tortilla machines. These machines would produce thousands of dozens of tortillas everyday. Their version of chile verde was prepared with shredded beef and they would add potatoes as well. We would enjoy a huge burrito on their 14 flour tortillas. Soon, my Mom was preparing her version of chile verde at home and once in a while she would prepare it with pork. The pork version of chile verde is very popular in the New Mexico, prepared with their famous Hatch green chiles.
For this version of pork chile verde, I cooked the pork shoulder, low and slow, on the stove top covered with water. You could roast it in the oven as well, but the broth created from cooking it on the stove top is a key ingredient to a great tasting chile verde. And yes, I used a few tablespoons of lard to brown the pork.All in moderation, I say. The pictures show both with and without potatoes. It’s up to you. This is a big batch of pork chile verde. It freezes well!
4 1/2 to 5 pounds pork shoulder
* trim off some of the fat and slice into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 bay leaves
1/2 bulb of garlic, reserve other half for recipe
2 tablespoons of pork lard, or shortening
1 medium white onion, diced
3 serranos or jalpeños, diced
4 cloves of reserved garlic, minced
4 cups diced green chiles(previously roasted)
1 1/2 pounds of poached tomatillos
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cups pork broth
1 tablespoon crushed Mexican oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon pepper
Tips~ To prepare a smaller batch, I will often use the 2 1/2 pounds of boneless pork tips or boneless country style ribs. Both work out great and both are delicious!
Red onions, diced
*Serve with rice and warm tortillas
Tips~If are able to roast your own fresh Anaheim peppers, here is a quick stove top method that I use often. Although for bigger quantities, roasting in the oven works as well.
Preheat a nonstick pan to medium/high heat for 5 to 6 minutes. Lay the peppers in pan and cook them until they start to blacken and blister in spots. Add about 1 teaspoon of oil to the peppers and turn as needed, until most sides are blackened. Transfer to a plate and cover with plastic wrap. After about an hour, remove the blistered skins, stems and seeds. Slice, chop, or leave whole for your favorite recipes.
1. Add the pork to a large dutch oven pot. Also add the bay leaves, 1/2 bulb of garlic, 3 teaspoons of salt and enough water to cover the pork. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking until pork is tender, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Skim off the top when needed.
2. Remove pork from broth and let cool. Strain the broth and skim off some of the grease on top, set aside.
3.In a heavy pot, preheat the 2 tablespoons of lard to medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the pork and cook until nicely browned on most sides. While pork is browning, to the blender, add the green chiles and tomatillos and blend until smooth, set aside.
4. To the pork, add the onions, chile peppers and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the green chile sauce from blender, cilantro, 2 cups of pork broth, oregano, cumin, granulated garlic and pepper. Bring to a boil, taste for salt, cover and continue cooking for 1 hour. Add the masa harina slurry, stir to combine quickly and continue cooking for another 30 to 40 minutes. Yields 8 to 10 servings.
Tips~ I took a little help from the store and purchased 4(10 ounces each) cans of whole green chiles and 1 large can of tomatillos. During the winter months it’s harder to find the fresh ingredients, so I rely on the canned. And when I remember, I like to roast some extra poblanos and jalapeños and add some in at the end.
To Make the Gorditas:
1 3/4 cup hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups masa harina amarilla (yellow corn). If you cannot find this variety, use the white corn masa harina
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for cooking
- For gorditas, add water and salt to a bowl and stir just until salt is dissolved. Gradually add in the masa harina mixed with baking powder. Add olive oil and mix until soft dough forms.
2. Roll 6 equal-size masa balls. With a little warm water on hand, wet hands and using the palm of your hands, pat balls gently to form the gordita. If the edges crack, smooth over by rubbing a little water over the area. Place onto plate and cover. Set aside.
3. Preheat cast iron pan or non stick skillet to medium/low heat for 5 minutes. When hot, drizzle a little olive oil into pan. Place 3 gorditas in pan, cover with lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook for another 4 minutes, more or less. Add another drizzle of olive oil to pan when you turn them. Keeping them covered while cooking, creates a little steam and the gorditas will puff up slightly.
4. Let gorditas cool for just 1 minute. To cut open, place a few folded paper towels over gordita. Using a small serrated knife, carefully slice open 3/4 of the way. Turn gordita as you slice. The paper towels keep your hands form getting burned while slicing. Gorditas slice better when they are warm. Keep gorditas warm in a low-temperature oven.