By Our Chef, Phillip Schaaf
This recipe is simple, comforting, and full of complex flavors. This Chile Verde Pork Stew is very versatile. It can be served in a bowl over rice garnished with avocado and cilantro, or rolled into enchiladas or burritos topped with more sauce and sour cream. Our favorite way to serve it is rolled into a soft, handmade tortilla for an outstanding taco experience.
This is a braised dish, consisting of pork stew meat, which is usually trim cut from shoulder and loin primals. Stew meat has a good fat to meat ratio which is great for braising. The pork is cooked down with onions, garlic, three kinds of chiles —anaheim, poblano, and either serrano or jalapeño— and tomatillos.
If you haven’t used a tomatillo, it’s like a little green tomato with a thin husk. It is a tart, acidic fruit with firm white flesh that has a flavor all its own. To prepare the tomatillos, they need to be husked and washed, as the husk leaves behind a sticky residue on the fruit.
All of the vegetables can be roughly chopped to start, as they will be pureed later creating a smooth and luscious sauce that the pork will simmer in. Because there is a longer cooking time with braised dishes, you can prepare this dish ahead of time to be served the next day for a quick meal. Making this dish a day before serving makes it more flavorful because it allows the flavors have more time to meld together.
What you’ll need
•2 lbs pork stew meat or diced pork shoulder
•1 Tbsp kosher salt
•1 ½ tsp fresh cracked pepper
•2 Tbsp neutral oil (grape seed or canola)
•1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
•2 poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
•2 anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
•2 serrano(Medium) or 2 Jalapeno( mild) seeded and chopped
•4 tomatillos, husked and quartered
•4-6 cloves of garlic, depending on personal tastes
•1 QT chicken stock
•Juice of 1 lime
•1 diced avocado
•½ yellow onion, small diced
•1 bunch cilantro, chopped
•2 serranos or jalapenos, sliced or diced
1.Season the pork with salt and pepper then set aside while you wash and cut the vegetables.
2.Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably with a lid. Sear the seasoned pork, working in a few batches so as not to overcrowd the pan Overcrowding can lead to less and of a sear and more of a steamed pork product.
3.Once all of the pork is seared, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
4.Add a bit more oil to the pan and then cook down all of the veggies until they begin to develop some color.
5.Add the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Using an immersion blender or a countertop blender, puree all of the chiles and the stock to create the body of our stew.
6.Add the pork and continue to simmer until the pork is really tender about two hours.
7.Remove from the heat and prepare your garnishes. Dress the avocado with the juice from ½ of the lime.
8.Add the juice of the other ½ of the lime to the pork verde, along with ½ of the chopped cilantro.
9.Serve it up using your preferred method and enjoy it with family and friends.