- 1 pound fresh tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
- 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 jalapeño or serrano chiles
- 2 pounds pork country-style spareribs, or 1 1/2 pounds boneless pork shoulder
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 12 sprigs cilantro (optional)
- 1 cup water
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 1 hr 30 min
Total time: 2 hrs
Preheat the broiler. Lay the tomatillos, onions, garlic, and chiles on a shallow baking pan (lined with foil if you like), and broil about 4 inches from the heat, turning once or twice, until well browned, about 15 minutes in all.
Meanwhile, cut the meat into large cubes and trim off most of the fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet and grease it with a piece of the fat, then brown the pork cubes a few at a time.
Transfer the broiled vegetables to a blender, add the cilantro and the water, and blend to a rough purée. Add to the skillet when all the meat has been browned. Cover and simmer until the meat is quite tender, about 1 1/4 hours. If the sauce seems too thin, remove the meat and boil it down a bit before adjusting the seasonings.
To use as a taco filling, remove the meat chunks from the sauce and chop into small pieces, then stir back into the sauce. To serve on a plate, leave the meat in good-sized cubes.
Serves 6 to 8
Good to know
The title simple means "green chile pepper," but like "chili" in Texas it can imply a finished dish, in this case pork cooked in a green sauce that actually contains far more tomatillo than chile. North of the border, chile verde is usually a simple meat and sauce dish, popular as a filling for tacos and burritos or served in the middle of a "combination plate" in restaurants. In Mexico it’s more likely to be served as a stew with an assortment of vegetables (see Variation).
Which beer should I drink with this?
Amber ale, Märzen. (Plus: Read about Marzen, Octoberfest and other special lagers.)
To make a more substantial meat-and-vegetable stew, add one or more of the following to the stew for the last 10 to 15 minutes of simmering:
- Sliced zucchini or other summer squash
- Cubes of peeled eggplant, salted for 30 minutes, drained, and lightly browned in olive oil
- Sliced green beans, parboiled until just tender (they should still be slightly “squeaky”)
- Lima beans or fava beans, blanched
- Diced potatoes (parboiled, or cooked in the stew)
- Mild green chiles (Anaheim or similar), roasted, peeled, and cut into 1-inch squares
The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook
From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.
Photo: ZUMA Press