February 9, 2010
So, being the rabid football fan that I am (ahem), I excitedly whipped up a big batch of the Pioneer Woman’s Simple Perfect Chili for Superbowl Sunday… a week too early. My first concern, when I realized the error of my ways, was feeling like a complete idiot. But I immediately confessed on Twitter and found that I was not the only one to make this mistake. Maybe I wan’t an idiot after all! Or at least I was in good company. With that out of the way, my next concern was: what would I make on actual Superbowl Sunday?
Hard as I tried, I couldn’t move away from chili. How was I going to make this work. Chicken chili? Veggie Chili? A smoky version of beef chili made with chipotles? No. No. No. I needed something different. Something like green chili. Yes! With pork. YES! Pork chili verde. Now I was onto something.
I’d never made chili verde before this past Sunday, but I had the idea that I would boil the tomatillos and puree them in a food processor with garlic, cilantro and other stuff in a way similar to how I made Salsa Verde. Then, I’d cook the pork in that sauce. I did a quick Google search to get a sense of whether I was on the right track and came across this recipe from Bobby Flay. I was immediately intrigued by the roasting step. Roasting always makes good flavor. And it seemed like such an easy recipe (it is). I kept researching and then sat down to think through my own recipe, but I couldn’t get Bobby’s out of my head. I looked it up again. It spoke to me. I had to make it. With a few minor adjustments, of course!
I added hominy to Bobby’s recipe which, if I do say so, was a great move. Makes this a hearty one pot meal and the corn flavor adds nice dimension. I also tossed the veggies with orange juice and oil before roasting. Just for a little zing. If you want this a little spicy, roast the jalapenos with seeds and/or veins. I made sure to get rid of both in my peppers since my ChowBaby is going through a no spicy foods phase. Lastly, Bobby suggests using boneless pork shoulder. So do I, BUT I couldn’t get my hands on one smaller than 5 lbs. So, instead, i used a boneless pork loin roast, which worked well enough thanks to a long cooking time.
Serve this chili with lime wedges over rice or with tortillas. A dollop of sour cream is good, too. This is definitely a keeper. And great for company. The ChowPapa (who, I admit, tends to speak in superlatives) called this recipe an “absolute all time favorite.” Touchdown. (Take 2.)
Pork Chili Verde
Adapted from Bobby Flay
Serves 4-6 (can be adapted for kids 8+ mos*)
1 large organic red onion, chopped
1 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
3 organic jalapenos, quartered with stems, seeds and veins removed
5 organic cloves of garlic, each one halved
juice of 1/2 an organic orange (about 1/2 c)
4 tbsp organic canola or vegetable oil
2 lbs organic boneless pork shoulder or center cut pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 32-oz box organic chicken stock
2 15-oz cans hominy
1 bunch organic cilantro, chopped (about 1 c)
salt and pepper
tortillas or rice (for serving)
sour cream and lime wedges (optional, for garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss onions, tomatillos, jalapenos, garlic and orange juice with 1 tablespoon of oil. Spread on a baking sheet and roast until soft and starting to brown, about 30 minutes, stirring twice during roasting.
2. Meanwhile, in a large Dutch oven over medium-high flame, heat remaining oil. Brown the pork in batches. When all of the pork is browned, drain 3/4 of the accumulated fat, then return all of the meat to the pot, cover with chicken stock and add hominy. When vegetables are done, add them to the pot too, cover and place in the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes, then remove lid and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to help the vegetables break down.
3. While pork is cooking, place cilantro in a food processor. Puree with 2 tablespoons of water. Add to the pork after it’s cooked for the 1 hour and 15 minutes indicated above. Cook for another 15 minutes (for a total cook time of about 1 1/2 hours.) Remove pot from oven and season with salt and pepper. Serve over rice or with tortillas, with lime wedges and a dollop of sour cream.
*Note: Be sure to cut pork and hominy into an age appropriate bite size. For beginner eaters, use small spoonfuls of the sauce to help mash the ingredients together, making sure to pull out any larger pieces of onion, tomatillo skin or pepper (most of which has completely broken down).
PS: This is KILLER the next day! YUUUUMMMM