Servings: 12 Prep: 30 min Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins Total: 3 hrs
I’d like to believe I’ll know it when I’m officially old. Like, somehow a clear and obvious blue garden gnome will randomly cross the street in front of me, waving a little sign reading, “It’s time. Put a fork in it. You’re old.”, then quickly scamper off into the brambles.
See, I cooked this recipe, as well as the Chipotle Chicken Chili (The Triple Chi) on the same day. I was VERY excited about The Triple Chi, due not only to the twists on a traditional chili, but also due to the more elaborate spice blend and addition of sweet potatoes. I knew I would like this recipe, but I was counting the minutes until I could spoon up a mouthful of Triple Chi. See, I knew the Pork Chili Verde would be a solid entry into a collection of chili recipes, but I wasn’t prepared for the overwhelming joy I felt when I finally tried it.
The words that immediately bubbled to mind were “This is the shiz-nit! Like… seriously… Fo Shizzy!”. I was over the moon. Elated.
I wanted to share that feeling and express my excitement with the kind of over the top expression that can only be found in slang. Wanting an updated alternative, I Google’d “shiznit”. Sadly, the first result was titled “18 slang words that will make you sound like an old fart”.
Apparently, my use of shiznit suggests that I’m either under 10… or over 60. Sad face. Blue gnome.
I went to find a new modern way to express my enthusiasm for this recipe, but in a way that is both fly AND fetch. Weirdly and near as I can tell, slang doesn’t really much exist in the traditional verbal fashion, like it usedtacould. All that slangy energy is now used for brevity in texting. Saying more, with less characters. All that typing can be tiring…
This Chili Verde is totally high key. I LIVE for it. GOAT, in fact! Not even a little salty. Absolute w! Hundo P, Fam!
So, what does this narrative have to do with Chili? Nada. I was just completely blown away by its pure clean vvvvvvvv.
In English, I’m simply saying that while the Triple Chi does indeed have a lot of flavor and an incredible spice profile, this dish was very clear, clean, uncluttered and straightforward. V clean tasting. V.
It knows what it is. It stands proud and punk rocks its daring simplicity, with not a care in the world. The only spice I used was a little bit of the fruity coriander seed. All the rest of its backbone is from the building blocks of the vegetables. The substantial chunks of pork shoulder softened, just as the ribbons of fat melted into the sauce. The last blast of fresh lime gives it a pleasantly tart pedestal to stand on.
Note: Chili in photos is served on cauli-rice.
Second Note: Recipe will make about 12 cups of Chili.
Pork Chili VerdePrint Rate
- 1/4 cup fat (such as lard or avocado oil) divided
- 4 each poblano chilis ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 4 small green bell peppers ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 each jalepeño chilis ribs and seeds removed, diced
- 12 cloves garlic chopped
- 4 lbs boneless pork butt (AKA "pork shoulder" or "boston butt")
- 1 tbsp ground coriander seed
- 2 lb tomatillos
- 1 bunch cilantro washed and dried
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place a large pot on the stove over low heat. Add half of the fat to the pan and swirl it around. Once it begins to visually ripple, add the onions, garlic and the three chili peppers to the pan. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Stir to coat with fat.
- Cook in the fat, stirring from time to time, until the onions begin to turn translucent and the peppers soften; about 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the onions and chilis sweat, clean the pork of any obvious bone, cartilage, sinew or obnoxious fat, keeping in mind that sinew and fat will break down and add to the flavor. Cut the cleaned pork into substantial rustic 1 to 2-inch (3 to 5 cm) chunks and place in a large bowl.
- Season the pork with a healthy amount of salt. Add the coriander seed and a bit of pepper. Toss the pork to evenly coat with the seasoning. Set aside.
- While the onions and chilies sweat, heat a large sauté pan over high heat on a separate burner. Once the pan is very hot, add the remaining fat. It should quickly ripple. Add enough of the pork to create a single sparse layer of pork on the bottom of the pan. Too much pork will cool the pan and the pork will “sweat”. Depending on the size of the pan and the intensity of the heat, you may need to do this in 3 or 4 waves. We want to pan fry the pork, to get a nice color it, while also toasting the coriander on the surface. Once a pan full of pork is browned, add to the large pot with the onions and chilies. Continue browning pork chunks in waves, until all of it is browned and added to the large pot.
- While the meat is browning and the onions are sweating, remove the leaves from the tomatillos. Wash and dry them, then cut the tomatillos into large chunks. They’ll break down while simmering. Add to the large pot with the pork.
- Wash the bunch of cilantro and give it a rough dry in a towel. Hold it like a bunch of flowers on the cutting board. Cut the tops off the stems, but keep the stems in a bunch. Set the leaves aside and cut the stems about every half-inch (1 cm). If the bases of the stems are woody, discard these, but most cilantro stems are edible and flavorful. Throw the stems in with the pork. Also, pick any large stems out of the leaves, chop and add to the pork. Place the leaves in the fridge under a damp towel.
- Add a bit more salt and pepper to the pork. Stir everything together. Cover and bring up to a simmer. Reduce heat to maintain a very slow simmer for about 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 90 minutes, use a fork to split a pork chunk in half. If it gives very easily and just smooshes and splits in half, it’s done. Chances, however, are that it’s still a bit tough and you need a good 30 to 60 minutes more. All total, the pork will likely simmer for about 2 ½ hours before it’s perfectly tender and juuuust about ready to fall apart.
- If it’s not ready, remove the lid and allow it to simmer, stirring and testing pork chunks, until the sauce has thickened and the pork chunks are tender.
- 5 minutes before serving, add the fresh lime juice and whole cilantro leaves. Stir, taste, adjust seasoning and serve! So V.
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