If you have been following along with my story, you know I moved into an apartment last January. I looked at several in the area I wanted to live, but fell in love with mine immediately. It’s interesting how you just know when it is a match. You walk from room to room and it just feels right. I was so enamored, in fact, I overlooked an important piece of information. My apartment has no dishwasher. Eeek!
The last time I lived without a dishwasher was back in about 1979, I think. So long ago, I can’t even remember. Funny how we take things for granted. But what is really interesting is that I now have about 20 times too many dishes. I use one plate, bowl, fork, spoon and knife. Then I wash them and put them away. Boom. Done. But I have cupboards full of plates and bowls, and much more silverware. I have a whole shelf of coffee mugs and I use the same one every day. I chuckle every time I put something away, because I used to have enough to last me for a week, which was how often I ran the dishwasher. In fact, I even bought more teaspoons. I have a LOT of those.
What I have discovered is that I really like doing the dishes. Pretty weird. Instant gratification, I guess. I used to loath emptying that dishwasher. Such a chore. But no more. I’m free.
So, what does that have to do with Chile Verde with Pork & Ancho Chile Sauce? Absolutely nothing. Don’t bother trying to figure it out.
This recipe has a green puree made of tomatillos, green onions, cilantro, garlic and chicken broth, part of which is added at the start of cooking, and part stirred in right before serving for a bright fresh flavoring. Is there anything better than cubes of pork that have been braised for a couple of hours until they are so soft they’re almost falling apart. Plus little cubes of yellow potato that have absorbed the flavor of the roasted diced Anaheim chiles. Served with warm corn tortillas and Mexican beer, you’ll be in hog heaven.
You can also make this ancho chile sauce to dollop on top, which is flavored with garlic, honey and cinnamon. Ancho chiles are not hot, but sweet with deep chile funky flavor. So whether you are eating your Chile Verde in a bowl or in a tortilla, his ancho chile sauce will take you all the way. Seriously. So yum.
Chile Verde with Pork & Ancho Chile Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit
6 – 8 servings
Make the Tomatillo Sofrito
2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
¼ pound tomatillos, rough chop
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 ½ cups fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems (packed)
6 garlic cloves, sliced
1. Place all Tomatillo Sofrito ingredients in blender or processor and puree. Set aside.
2 large Anaheim chiles, roasted peeled seeded, diced (about ¾ cup)
3 ½ – 4 pound pork shoulder (Boston butt), most of fat removed, cut to 1 ½-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¾ pound tomatillos, rough chop
2 cups reserved Tomatillo Sofrito
1 cup chicken broth, low sodium
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, rubbed
1 pound small yellow potatoes, cut into ¾-inch dice
Remaining reserved Tomatillo Sofrito, about 1 cup
Kosher salt, up to 1 tablespoon
Freshly ground black pepper
Ancho Chile Sauce (recipe below)
1. Place Anaheim chiles on stove top burner grates over high flame until blackened all over. Turn with tongs to achieve even char.
2. Cool chiles on plate. Wrap each with paper towel, and use towel to remove and scrape off charred skin. Remove stem and slice lengthwise, discarding seeds. Cut into ½-inch dice and reserve.
3. Heat oil in large heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add about half of pork cubes to pot, brown all over and transfer to bowl. Brown remaining pork and add to bowl. Reserve.
4. Add diced onion to pot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with ground cumin and cook for additional 2 minutes.
5. Add remaining ¾ pound tomatillos and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.
6. Add browned pork and juices to pot, along with 2 cups reserved Tomatillo Sofrito, 1 cup chicken broth, diced Anaheim chiles and oregano. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until pork is tender, about 2 hours.
7. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes uncovered. Skim fat from top of stew.
8. Return to boil and add diced potatoes. Cover, lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20-30 minutes.
9. Stir in remaining Tomatillo Sofrito and bring back to simmer. Add salt to taste and black pepper. Serve topped with chopped cilantro and a spoonful of Ancho Chile Sauce.
Ancho Chile Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ounces dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded, coarsely torn
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 cup water
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt to taste
1. Heat oil in a heavy non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add chile shards and fry until fragrant and beginning to turn light orange in places. Transfer to medium bowl.
2. In same skillet, sauté garlic slices over medium high heat until soft and starting to brown. Add 1 cup water and swirl in pan.
3. Add water and garlic to chile shards in bowl. Press chile into water to cover. Let sit for about 15 minutes or until chile is softened.
4. In a blender or processor, puree chiles, water, garlic, honey and cinnamon. Add salt to taste.