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Sunday, December 28, 2014

Chile Pork Verde

Me, Michael, Becca, Elise, Mallory, Lani, Amanda, Ryan, and Ray
at Guitars and Cadillacs at the FW Kickball End of Season Party for the Winter 2013 season
One night a few years ago, Andy and I went on a double date with our friends, Michael & Becca to Salsa Fuego. It is an old drive-through restaurant (what it use to be escapes me now), and it is a little hole in the wall here in Fort Worth.
Andy, me, Becca, and Michael at the American Aquarium show at Magnolia Motorlounge in May 2013

Andy ordered Chile Pork Verde, and he couldn't stop raving about it. He was bound and determined to figure out a recipe so we could try it out ourselves. So the day came when (shocked face- in awe) Andy went to... wait for it... the grocery store!! Usually I do all of our grocery shopping, but Andy took charge so he could figure out how to make the mysterious pork.
Michael, Becca, and me with Jesse, Will, Chris, and Chelsea on the 4th of July 2013 at Cabana #3

He bought all of the ingredients to make the pork, and started cooking about 5:00. About 7:00, my stomach was a-rumbling, and I asked Andy when he thought dinner would be done. "Well, the recipe says 6 hours." What! Turns out, Andy thought the 6 hours included prep & cook time, but it did not. The pork was suppose to cook for a grand total of 6 hours. Meanwhile, my stomach was eating itself. Alas, we conceded to go grab take out from Pei Wei and have the pork the next time. Good thing, too, because it was done about midnight that night.
Becca and me (and Andy and Me) celebrating my first two runs in kickball

Despite having it the day after we cooked it, the Chile Pork Verde was crazy-good. Another mishap- Andy thought the rice he'd bought was "plain white rice" but it was gumbo rice and pre-seasoned. "Not white like the picture on the box!" Andy disappointedly told me.  Oh well, we now know for next time- start cooking it early! And the rice turned out to be much more tasty than any plain white rice would have been anyway. I saved the leftover ingredients to make my own Verde Salsa the next night, and we scarfed down the long-awaited Chile Pork Verde. And, yes, I think it was much better than Salsa Fuego's!

Chile Pork Verde
Servings: 6; Weight Watchers PointsPlus Value:

Chile Pork Verde

1.5-2lb pork shoulder, fat trimmed
1.5-2 tbsp of oil for browning pork (coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil recommended)
2/3 tsp chile powder
2/3 tsp dried oregano
1/3 tbsp salt
1/3 tsp garlic powder
1/3 tsp cumin

1/2 onion, chopped
.75-1lb tomatillos, husked and rinsed
1 1/3 medium garlic cloves
1 Serrano pepper, minced (leave seeds for some spice)
1 tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lime, squeezed juice
2 cups water

1 small can chopped green chiles (with liquid)
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped and seeded
1 Serrano pepper, chopped and seeded

1.  In a small bowl, mix chile powder, dried oregano, salt, garlic powder, and cumin.  

2. Rub spice mixture into pork shoulder and let sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes.
3.  Place tomatillos, onion, garlic, and Serrano pepper into a pot.  Season with oregano, cilantro, cumin, and salt; squeeze lime and pour in water.  
4. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the tomatillos are soft, 10-15 minutes.  
5. Press tomatillos against the side of the pot to crush and stir often while simmering.
6.  Brown the pork in oil over medium-high heat for approximately 10 minutes.
7.  Using a blender, or immersion blender, carefully puree the tomatillo mix until smooth consistency.
8.  Drain meat and add to pot.  
9. Add chopped green chiles, jalapeño pepper and Serrano pepper.  
10. Continue to simmer for next 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, or until pork shreds easily.
11.  Serve the pork chile verde warm in bowls with steamed rice. 
12.  Season with cilantro, Tabasco, lime wedges, and salt and pepper to taste.  

Keepn on cookin'!
-Katherine and Andy

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