Earlier this month I was lucky enough to travel to Denver, Colorado, to work on an American Made MeetUp. Never being one to travel to a destination unprepared, I dutifully did my homework and found out that Denver is one of the biggest Chile Verde centers in the U.S. Chile Verde varies depending on who you're talking to, but while in Denver I was lucky enough to have a big bowl of a spicy, rich pork-based stew, filled with green chiles and tomatillos. To say the least, I have been craving it ever since.
I had the day off on Friday and wanted to get some braising done, as so many of our weeknight meals include a quick poached egg with veggies or something with a mix of mushrooms, spinach and cherry tomatoes. Dinner is generally a collaborative process, since cooking together is one of our favorite relaxing activities, so I asked Brown for his two cents and we decided on carnitas; essentially, Mexican pulled pork. Once I got to the grocery store my Chile Verde craving hit, so I decided to marry the two.
What happened was a beautifully wedded union of spicy and satisfying chile verde that acts as both braising liquid and sauce, and pulled carnitas. We topped ours with a quick-pickled radish that cut through the spice and fattiness of the pork along with some fresh salsa. The best part? It's all made in one pot. -- Red
Chile Verde Carnitas Serves 4-6
3-4 Pound boneless pork shoulder 1/4 Cup salt + more for tasting 1 Large onion white, cut into 1/8-ths 1 1/4 Pound tomatillos, quartered 1 Cup orange juice (about 2 oranges) 1/4 Cup lime juice (about 2-3 limes) 2 Jalapeños, cut in 1/2 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 Tablespoons silver tequila
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
Remove skin off of pork shoulder and cut into 1-2 inch pieces.
Place in a large bowl and toss with 1/4 cup of salt. Let sit.
Meanwhile in a food processor, combine onion, tomatillos, orange juice, lime juice and jalepeños. Process until liquid.
In a large braising pan, heat oil on high heat. Sear the pork, in one layer, on both sides until golden. It's important to get a good crust on the meat so do this part in batches if everything doesn't fit in one layer. Once golden, turn the heat to medium and add tequila to deglaze the bottom of the pan, approximately 30 seconds.
Pour the verde sauce on top of the pork, covering 3/4ths of it. Place in the oven, uncovered, and cook until the meat is soft and shreadable, about 3 hours.
When done, shred the meat with tongs or wait until cool enough to handle and shred with your hands.
Serve in corn tortillas or with rice.
*Note: Brown has sensitive tastebuds and, for him, cilantro tastes like soap so it's excluded from this recipe. You can add 1 bunch of cilantro to the verde sauce, but add more orange/lime juice so that the mixture is liquid (1-2 more of each).