Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)
It’s Super Bowl week! The Super Bowl is the fifth most important American food holiday. Time for recipes for your party!
*Thanksgiving, Christmas, Forth of July, Memorial Day, Super Bowl. Actually, I think the Super Bowl has passed the Forth of July and Memorial Day, and moved up to #3, right behind Christmas…
I had this post all planned out. My Super Bowl chili would be Chili Verde, green chili, to tie in with the Green Bay Packers. Then the Packers lost in their first playoff game. Oh well, the chili is still worth talking about.
*I live and die with the Cleveland Browns. Die, mostly. But my Dad grew up in Wisconsin and is a huge Packers fan, so I like seeing the Packers do well.
Chili Verde breaks the mold. Pork? Green sauce? Is this really chili? It is the only chili, other than Texas Red, that the International Chili Society recognizes. But, green chili? It sounds like it should be in a Doctor Seuss story.
*I would not eat it in a boat, I would not eat it with a goat. I will not eat it here or there, I will not eat it anywhere! I will not eat green chili, Sam I am…darn, lost the rhyme at the end.
Chili Verde is more involved than most slow cooker recipes. Broiling peppers and tomatillos, then blending them into a green sauce is a little extra work.* If you time it right, though, the peppers are under the broiler while you brown the pork, and everything comes together at the same time. It’s worth the extra work. The results are full of green chili flavor and big hunks of pork. Chili Verde is different from red chili, but every bit as delicious.
*And if you want to cheat, and dump things out of jars and cans, check out the variations at the end of the recipe…
Recipe: Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 1 pound Anaheim chiles, halved, stemmed and seeded
- 2 green bell peppers, halved, stemmed and seeded
- 2 jalapeño peppers, halved and stemmed
- ½ cup cilantro leaves and stems
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 5 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1½ inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade) or water
- 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
- Juice of 2 limes
- A couple dashes green hot sauce (optional, see notes)
- Make the green sauce: Spread the tomatillos, anaheim chiles, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the baking sheet 6 inches below a broiler set to high, and broil until the tomatillos and peppers are blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip the tomatillos and broil until the tomatillos are browned on the other side and the skins of the peppers are blackened all over, about another five minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the peppers cool for a few minutes, then peel the blackened skin from the peppers and discard. (A little leftover blackened skin is fine.) Pour the contents of the baking sheet into a blender or food processor, including as much of the liquid as possible. Add the cilantro and the teaspoon of Kosher salt, then blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Brown the pork: Sprinkle the pork evenly with the 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Brown the pork in two to three batches. Cook each batch for six minutes total, turning the pork halfway through the cooking time to brown it on two sides. Transfer the pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible.
- Saute the aromatics and toast the spices: There should be 2 tablespoons of fat left in the pan; add more oil or pour out fat to get to 2 tablespoons. Add the onions to the fry pan and sprinkle with the ½ teaspoon of kosher salt. Saute the onions until softened and starting to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes, scraping occasionally to release the browned pork bits from the bottom of the pot. Make a hole in the middle of the onions and add the garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano and brown sugar. Cook until you smell the garlic and spices, about one minute, then stir into the onions. Add the chicken broth and green sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.
- Slow cook the chili: Transfer the contents of the fry pan to the slow cooker. Stir the pork, pork juices, and crushed tortilla chips into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours or high heat for 5 hours.
- Serve the chili: Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce. Taste add more salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and more green hot sauce.
*Cheater version: Instead of making the green sauce, buy it in jars or cans. Use 28 ounces of tomatillo salsa, and 28 ounces of green enchilada sauce. Watch the heat level on the tomatillo salsa – you want mild to medium salsa; if it is a really hot salsa, it can overwhelm the rest of the chili.
*Beans: If you want beans in your chili, stir in 28 ounces of canned navy or cannelini beans with the pork and tortilla chips. Just don’t tell the ICS – see rule #1.
*I save the dregs from tortilla chip bags for my chili recipes. The crushed chips dissolve and thicken the sauce, and add a little masa flour taste to the chili. Slow cooker recipes tend to be watery, so the extra thickening is a big help.
*Hot sauces: Depending on the heat level you’re looking for:
Tabasco Jalapeño Sauce – medium heat
Dave’s Hurtin’ Jalapeno Sauce – hot
El Yucateco Green Chile Habanero Sauce – hot!
El Yucateco XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce – oh, my
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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