The first time I ever tasted Green Chili Pork was during our visit to New Mexico and The Four Corners some years back. We absolutely enjoyed this dish and I decided then that I would replicate it as soon as I got home. At that time, we were still living in Colorado and roasted chilies were easily available out there in the summer.
We would buy half a bushel (aproximately 4 dry gallons) of Poblano or Big Jim peppers for roasting each summer. When roasted and peeled, this amount of chilies would fill about eight sandwich-size plastic bags, sufficient to last us throughout the winter. They kept well in the freezer. Out there, the vegetable stands had huge gas-powered rotating chili roasters made specifically for roasting chilies. They only charge a nominal fee for the service.
Over the years, I have tweaked this Green Chili Pork recipe to suit our taste buds. This homemade version with tomatillos is a little thicker in consistency than the one we ate in New Mexico but we like it just as much, if not more.
Tomatillos are tart little fruits that look like green tomatoes wrapped in paper-like husks. They are a key ingredient in fresh and cooked Mexican green sauces. If tomatillos are not available where you live, green tomatoes would work just as well in this recipe.
I do like to keep my tomatillos intact by adding them only towards the end of cooking. They may be cooked down a little bit more for a softer texture and more mellow flavor.
- 3 (1 lb/450g) poblano peppers
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ lbs (675g) boneless pork ribs, cut into slices
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper
- 6 (¾lb/340g) tomatillos, cut into wedges
- Salt to taste
- 1 cup (30g) cilantro, chopped
- Roast poblano peppers on the grill until peppers soften and skins blister. This should take about 15 minutesRemove and set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove charred skins and seeds. Cut into ½-inch strips.
- In a medium size, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Brown pork for about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- Add remaining tablespoon of oil to pan. Saute garlic and onion until soft, about 2 minutes. Add poblano peppers, ground cumin, and ground chipotle pepper.
- Return pork to the pan, followed by ¾ cup (180ml) water. Bring it up to a boil, reduce heat, and allow it to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Add tomatillos and salt. Cover and continue to cook for another 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Add cilantro. Serve warm.
Be sure to have lots of steamed rice on hand as this slightly tangy and very appetizing dish is sure to have you and your family back for seconds.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!