Chili Verde

Most people who live in the northern climes have make red chili more ways than you can shake a stick at. But if you ask them about the green variety, most will plead ignorance.

While I’ve never made green chili, it isn’t totally off my radar. I remember eating it a couple of times on trips to the Southwest several years ago and was quite impressed, since spicy dishes appeal to me.

More commonly called chili verde, the tasty dish usually is made with chunks of pork butt or shoulder, tomatillos and jalapeno peppers and slow-cooked until the meat is tender.

After coming across a chili verde recipe recently, I’ve decided to forgo my traditional recipe and give the new one a try. I’m especially looking forward to adding some my own home-grown cilantro, which is coming along nicely under a grow light in my downstairs pantry.

Chili Verde
2½ pounds pork butt, trimmed, leaving a small amount of outside fat
½ cup olive oil
1 head garlic, peeled, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
2½ pounds tomatillos, papery skins removed, coarsely chopped
1 to 3 fresh jalapenos, seeded, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, chopped
2 cups each: water, chicken broth
½ bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
Cut pork into 1 ½-inch cubes. Place pork, oil, chopped head of garlic, salt and pepper in a large Dutch oven. Heat over medium-high heat until hot; lower heat to low. Cook, 1 hour. Stir occasionally so pork cubes brown well on all sides. Drain off all but a few tablespoons oil; add half the onion to pork. Cook, 2 minutes.
Add remaining onion, tomatillos, jalapenos, remaining 2 cloves chopped garlic, water and broth. Simmer uncovered, 1½ to 2 hours. Check seasoning while cooking, adding salt and pepper to taste. Check meat at 1½ hours; the pork should be very tender. If you’d like a thicker stew, increase heat slightly and reduce liquids. Check seasoning; serve garnished with cilantro.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 453 calories, 22 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 122 milligrams cholesterol, 18 grams carbohydrates, 45 grams protein, 411 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

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