Writing about this pork is a sort of torture right now. You see, I'm sitting at the island in the kitchen, working on my third bowl of mush for the day. My wisdom teeth were removed this morning, and cold to luke-warm mush is the only food group I get. Writing this blog post about spicy green chile pork with stewn chiles, tomatillos, and lime is a bit like being stuck in the middle of a desert and talking about ice cream for an hour straight.
Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration. My bowl of mush isn't that bad. It's actually a slow cooker (very soft) chicken stew in a spiced bone broth, coconut milk, and vegetables that any other day would be considered overcooked, but their mushy texture is about all my jaw can handle right now, so I'm not too unhappy.
Still, comparing it to last week's Slow Cooker Pork Chile Verde is pathetic. See that bowl?
It's full of texture, from tender pork shoulder to crunchy pepper seeds. It's all bathing in a savory green chile sauce made with late summer hatch chiles. An acidic punch from the lime and roasted tomatillos play a balancing game with the richer pork meat. (Pretty much everything my bowl of mush lacks).
I know the chile is good, but I also know I'm biased: green chile, for some unknown reason has fallen into place as my idea of "special". I don't know if it reminders me of my Dad's side of the family, and in turn symbolizes family holidays, or if it's just because it feeds a crowd, and therefore seems to always come with memories of good friends, but green chile stew always fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling. And why not? Pastured Pork is full of Vitamin D, omega-3s, and CLA (you know, the "good fats).
(I talk about comfort food a lot, don't I?)
P.S. This recipe comes from my Little Black Book of Favorites.
Looking for a dessert with enough tex-mex flare to follow this dinner? Try this raw, paleo Margarita Pie.
Slow Cooker Pork Chile Verde
4 medium sized tomatillos
6 oz fresh hatch chiles or 1 can or 6-oz green chiles (if you used canned, you do not need to roast or skin the peppers--simply add them to the blender in step 4).
4 cloves garlic
1 large yellow onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup bone broth
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Optional: Dash of ground cayenne pepper
1 pound cubed pork shoulder
Optional: 2 slices bacon (if you choose not to use the bacon, use 1 tablespoon coconut oil when browning the pork)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
For serving (optional): minced cilantro, sliced jalapeños or other chiles, minced red onion, julienned carrots, radiated, and/or jicama, chopped fresh romaine lettuce, salsa, cubed avocado, nutritional yeast or if you can tolerate dairy, shredded cheddar cheese.
1. Light your grill and turn the flame to medium. Put the lid on the grill and allow it to heat up while you prepare the vegetables. (Alternatively, preheat your over to 475°F).
2. Prepare the vegetables: peel the papery skins from the tomatillos, wash them, and slice them in half. Wash the peppers, and cut the onion onto 4 to 6 large slices. Arrange them all on a grill pan or in a grill basket, along with the 2 cloves or garlic (whole). Place the grill pan on the grill, and close the lid. Turn the vegetables every 5 minutes, until the skin of the peppers is crisp and blackening. Remove from heat.
3. Wrap hot peppers in a cloth. Let them sit for about 10 minutes. The steam they create will soften the crispy skins, allowing you to remove them. After 10 minutes has passed, unwrap the peppers, and use your hands to peel the skins from the peppers. If you do not like spicy food, also remove the seeds at this time. NOTE: Please use gloves to do this, and wash your hands thoroughly after handling the chiles. Chiles, especially spicy ones, have strong oils that will sting eyes or can cause your skin to turn red.
4. Place all of the grilled vegetables (including the peppers) into a blender, along with the salt, pepper, and lime juice. Add broth, cumin, coriander, oregano,, and optional cayenne. Blend until it forms a "green smoothie" with a few small chunks.
5. Chop the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Cook it until crisp (if you can do this in the bottom of your slow cooker, do so. Otherwise, cook the bacon in a pot that will be large enough to brown the pork meat.). Add the pork meat to your pan, while the bacon grease is still hot. Brown each side of the meat. (Once again, if you can do this in the bottom of your slow cooker, that is the easiest route. Otherwise, transfer the pork and bacon to your slow cooker after it is browned).
6. Pour the green chile sauce over the pork. Put the lid on the slow cooker and set for 6 hours.
7. Serving: Scoop hot pork and chile sauce into bowls, top with shredded cheese, cilantro, avocado, etc. Consider putting all of the toppings in separate bowls and creating a "toppings bar" so that everyone can top their bowl with their favorite items.