Mexican Chili Verde

Mexican Chili Verde

10 fresh Anaheim (also called New Mexico) chiles

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion, peeled, coarsely chopped

4 large cloves garlic, peeled, pressed or mashed in a mortar

2 pounds lean boneless pork shoulder or butt, trimmed of as much fat as possible and cut into 1-inch cubes

Masa harina (corn flour) for dredging

1 bottle (12 ounces) lager

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 to 3 tablespoons chipotle chile paste, to your taste

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Place the chiles on a baking sheet and roast them until the skins blister and turn black, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the chiles and place them in a paper bag to steam for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, peel, stem, seed and cut the peppers into strips.

In a Dutch oven or casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat, then cook the onion and garlic until they are translucent, stirring, about 8 minutes. Remove the solids with a slotted spoon and set them aside.

Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the Dutch oven and let it heat up. Dredge the pork in the masa harina, tapping off any excess.

Brown the pork on all sides over medium heat, cooking in two batches if necessary so the pieces of meat don’t touch each other, turning them with tongs, about 12 minutes for each batch. Use the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil for the second batch. Set the meat aside.

Deglaze the bottom of the Dutch oven by pouring in about a quarter of the beer, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom with a wooden spoon. Once all the crust is picked up, add the remaining beer.

Return the onion, garlic and pork to the Dutch oven. Add the cumin and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the Anaheim chiles, chipotle chile paste, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the pork is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Add the cilantro leaves and cook another 10 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the dish sit 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Makes 6 servings. From “Real Stew” by Clifford Wright


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