The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Kitchen Corner: Chile Verde

Years ago, I found myself sobbing in the supermarket. I had always known that I would have to learn how to cook someday; it had never occurred to me that I might have to learn Spanish to make a decent meal.
As I stood there – forlornly eyeing the odd spice packages – the tiniest, oldest, crankiest Hispanic woman that I have ever seen took my hand and clucked at me with a tissue until I stopped crying. Wordlessly, she led me around the produce section, using gestures to give me this recipe. I have never forgotten it. To this day, this recipe remains one of the kindest things a stranger has ever done for me.
Chile Verde
2 pasilla or Anaheim chiles
2 serrano chiles
1 pound tomatillos
2 pounds pork shoulder or butt
2 onions
4-5 cloves garlic
2 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
4-6 flour tortillas
The chiles can be roasted over an open flame or de-skinned in a frying pan – either way, you have to get the skins off. They are an unholy kind of bitter.
For the open flame method, turn the stove on high and roast the peppers the way you would a marshmallow. With an electric range, you’re going to want to use a spatula to press the peppers onto a hot pan until the skins are blackened.
Take the peppers, throw them in a plastic bag and wrap in a dish towel. Set aside to cool.
Peel the papery parts off of the tomatillos and wash well. I actually use soap, because they are covered in some unknown sticky substance.
Also peel the papery parts from the onions and the garlic, then quarter the onions. Place the garlic, onions and tomatillos on a broiler pan and broil until lightly scorched. If you’re feeling fancy, you can brush them with olive oil.
Using tongs (trust me on this one, those things are hot),  throw all of the roasted veggies into a bowl and let cool.
While they are cooling, extract the chiles from the plastic bag and use a paper towel to slide the skins off. Use a sharp knife to disembowel all the innards and seeds.
I’ve heard that some people use gloves when preparing the chiles as it helps them to remember not to touch their eyes. Chile juices in eyeballs are a terrible thing when it happens to you, hilarious if it happens to somebody else. Fair warning.
Purée the tomatillos, onions, garlic and chiles in a blender until smooth and set aside.
Ready for the gross part? Use a sharp knife to cut the pork into 3 to 4 inch cubes, trimming off some fat if desired.  This is kind of a tough decision. The end result will taste better with more fat, but your thighs will pay the price.
Either way, throw the meat cubes into a hot pan and brown slightly. Add the contents of your blender and spices, then lower the heat and let simmer for about four hours.
Serve with warmed tortillas.

Leave a Comment
Donate to Signal

Your donation will support the student journalists of California State University, Stanislaus. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Signal

Comments (0)

All Signal Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Kitchen Corner: Chile Verde