I’ve always enjoyed making stews, soups or chili – basically good comfort food that blends everything together, simmers and you have a finished meal with wonderful flavors. That said, Chile Verde was never something I tried to make before, likely because tomatillos weren’t an ingredient I was overly familiar with. That changed when Lynn Novo, one of our culinary partners, made a delicious Chicken and Corn Enchiladas with Salsa Verde dish. She showed us how to work with a tomatillo and I was introduced to its wonderful flavor.
So when one of my colleagues suggested we make a Chili Verde in the Cutco kitchen, I was all in. This Chile Verde with Roasted Tomatillos and Peppers recipe stays fairly traditional with the use of pork for the protein, but adds some different spices to liven up the flavor, and lime juice to brighten the dish overall.
Tomatillos remain the star ingredient and they are actually quite easy to prep. When looking for the perfect tomatillo, look for one that is dry and hard with a tightly fitting husk that is also dry. To prep it for cutting, remove the husk and wash it thoroughly with cold water to remove the stick residue. For this recipe, the tomatillos need to be cut in half so I used the Santoku-Style Trimmer to prep them.
I then turned my attention to the peppers, and for this recipe we used both poblano and jalapeño peppers. Depending on how spicy you want your Chile Verde, you can choose to use other peppers as well. Using the 7-5/8" Petite Chef knife, I cut the peppers in half and removed the seeds.
The next step is key to really bringing out the flavor of the tomatillos and peppers. You want to place them onto foil-lined baking sheets cut-side down and broil them until the skins are blackened and blistered.
Once they are out of the oven, let them cool and remove the skins. This is the base for your savory green sauce, which you’ll combine in a food processor with some cilantro.
As I mentioned before, we went with the traditional boneless pork shoulder as our choice for protein but you could use chicken instead. I made sure to trim the excess fat from the pork shoulder (using the Boning Knife) and then cubed the meat into similar sized pieces using the 9" Carver.
Once the pork is cubed and seasoned, start searing the meat to create layers of flavor. When the meat is seared, add the onion, followed by the garlic and spices. Then add the verde sauce and stock, simmering these ingredients until the pork is fork-tender. The dish is finished by adding some lime juice and cilantro.
Chile Verde with Roasted Tomatillos and Peppers is not a dish you’ll make every week but it’s definitely one you’ll want to pull out for a crowd. The melt-in-your-mouth chunks of pork in the savory green sauce with lime juice is a wonderful flavor combination and the very definition of comfort food. Give it a try and you may find that tomatillos become a new fan favorite.
- 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and halved
- 2 jalapeños, seeds and ribs removed, halved
- 2 poblano peppers, seeds removed, halved
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cubed
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 2 yellow onions, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- Pinch of ground allspice
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Juice from one lime
- Additional cilantro for topping
- Turn oven to broil.
- Place the halved tomatillos cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Place the poblano and jalapeno peppers on another foil-lined baking sheet, cut-side down.
- Place both the peppers and tomatillos on the top rack of the oven until the skin side of the peppers and tomatillos are blistering and blackened, approximately 10 minutes. If the two sheets do not fit on the top rack, place one baking sheet in the next rack and rotate the baking sheets as needed until desired result.
- Remove tomatillos and peppers from the oven and let cool enough to handle.
- Remove the skins from the peppers and tomatillos.
- In a food processor, add the roasted tomatillos, roasted peppers and cilantro and process until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat a large pot on medium-high heat and add the olive oil.
- Season the pork with the salt, pepper and ancho chili powder and add to the pot.
- Sear the cubes of pork until they are browned, 3-5 minutes.
- Add the onions and cook for approximately 5-7 minutes until they are softened.
- Add the garlic, oregano and allspice, mixing thoroughly.
- Add the verde sauce you prepared earlier and the chicken stock (start with ½ cup of stock depending on how thick or thin you want the sauce – add more if needed).
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover – simmer for at least 2 hours or until the pork is easily pulled apart with a fork.
- Remove from heat and stir in the lime and cilantro.
- Serve in bowls and top with additional lime, cilantro and sliced jalapenos.