Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chile Verde

Pork butt. Oh, how I love you pork butt. It's also called pork shoulder (the meat does, in fact, come from the shoulder of the pig), but that's just silly. We here at Think Global Act Loco will strictly refer to this cut as pork butt. The first time I met a proper pork butt was in Tennessee, where they definitely know how to Q some butt. Smoked for hours, then on the grill for a bit, pulled apart, slapped on a bun and slathered with sauce. Hoooo-wee!

Today, however, we are cooking chile verde. Our friends Kelly, Raina, and Amalia were having a house-warming/bring-your-favorite-taco-filling party. I had some extra time and not much extra cash so chile verde sounded like a good idea. It requires some time, but it's really quite easy. This time around I actually took an already easy recipe and made it even easier! I started by cutting up my pork butt into 2-inch cubes and trimming off any excess fat. I seasoned it well, then browned it on all sides in a dutch oven. Once browned, I set the pork aside and drained all but a couple tablespoons of fat. In the fat I sauteed two diced onions until softened, then added 4-5 minced garlic cloves and 3 diced roasted jalapeños. I added the pork back into the dutch oven and poured in enough tomatillo puree to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2-3 hours. That's all she wrote. When it's done you can use it as a filling for tacos (like we did) or burritos or serve it with rice and beans, or whatevers yous wants.

As for my jalapeños, I had simply char-roasted them directly on the burners, the reason being that I was not going to roast my tomatillos (because I bought canned tomatillo puree) but still wanted a rich smoky flavor. I also added a couple splashes of liquid smoke to give it a lil' extra somethin somethin.

Now, about this canned tomatillo puree... I like to frequent the local markets, and I like to buy natural (organic when possible) and whole foods, but that can sometimes make for some expensive grocery bills. Learning how to shop well is a skill, and I still have lots to learn, but this time I kicked ass. I bought my meat and veggies at the natural foods store (4 lbs of pork butt, 2 onions, a head of garlic, 3 jalapeños and a bunch of cilantro cost me about $15) and to save time and money went to one of the Mexican Markets in town, La Esperanza, for my tomatillo puree. $7 for a 6 POUND CAN OF TOMATILLO PUREE! I only ended up using half of it for the chile verde.

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