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Author Notes: Pork shoulder is, to my mind, the ultimate ingredient for a cheap feast - on sale, it's $1.50/lb, meaning you can get 6 lbs of meat for less than 10 bucks! It's also absurdly delicious and very difficult to screw up. This green chili recipe is adapted from something my mom made a while back to feed a large family in town for the holidays. It's a versatile recipe with respect spices, so feel free to raise or lower the heat quotient to your taste! —lazychef
for the sauce
- 2.5 pounds tomatillos
- 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
- 3-4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 can Hatch green chilies
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
for the chili
- 1 5-6 lb. pork shoulder/pork butt
- 3-4 tablespoons oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 beer (I used a Negro Modelo, but anything will do!)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 3 cups chicken stock
- For the Verde Sauce: Preheat the broiler. Husk and rinse the tomatillos, then slice in half and place, cut-side down, on a lined baking sheet along with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Put the lot in the oven under the broiler until lightly blackened (about 7 minutes in my oven, but keep an eye on them!). When everything's cooled a bit, peel the roasted garlic cloves and add them, the tomatillo halves, the chopped jalapenos, the can of chilies (with sauce!), and the chopped cilantro to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse several times until everything's chopped up and mixed well. (Wasn't that easy?)
- For the Chili: Trim the pork shoulder of excess fat (meaning that very thick band on the outside) and cut the meat into ~1" cubes. This is the trickiest part if you're using a bone-in shoulder, but don't worry about it if some of the pieces are different sizes! Pork shoulder is very forgiving.
- Salt and pepper the cubed pork. Heat a few tablespoons of oil on medium-high in the bottom of a dutch oven or other heavy-bottomed pot (a large one - everything's going in eventually!). Brown the pork cubes in batches (but don't worry about cooking them through! This is just for flavor). When the pork is all browned and removed, turn the heat to medium and add the chopped onion and garlic to the pot, sauteing until softened.
- When the onion is nicely softened, "deglaze" the pan with a can of beer (this step is optional, but it's a nice way to add all the browned pork bits back to the sauce and my excuse for drinking while cooking). Add the browned pork to the onion mixture, then dump in the tomatillo sauce and stir to coat everything. Add the fresh oregano and spices (as well as salt and pepper to taste). Add chicken stock until pork is covered. Bring everything to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for several hours until the pork is meltingly tender.
- To serve: Serve in bowls over rice, with chili-style toppings: sour cream, grated cheese, chopped jalapenos, and fresh cilantro. As with all chilis, the flavors are even better the next day! (and the next, and the next...if it lasts that long)
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cheap Feast
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