Two days ago, I finally unwrapped a slow cooker that I had received as gift more than four years ago. Slow cooking chili verde seemed like ideal meal to serve my visiting family – something new yet familiar to their palate.
Chili verde literally translates into green chilies and used to describe Mexican (or rather Mexican American) slow cooked pork stew containing green chilies and tomatillos. Tomatillos look like green tomatoes but have meatier white filling inside them and are usually sold within dry papery husk. I find tomatillos have slightly tang sweet aromatic flavor. You should try it to get more sense of its flavor. For this recipe, I wanted to get fresh tomatillos, but couldn’t find more than handful of them after raiding three grocery stores around DC. So I decided to also use canned verde salsa made with tomatillos. However, since most people were not used to tangy flavor of tomatillos and hotness of green chilies, this is how I improvised my chili verde.
First thing I did was to substituted green chili with store bought canned Goya chipotles en adobo. Chipotle en adobo is smoked jalapeno chilies made in tomato sauce, which is spiced with paprika, onions, and other spices. I used chipotle instead of other green chilies because it has distinctive smoky flavor, goes well with slow-cooked meat, mildly hot and most importantly because I love its flavor. So let it be chipotle chili verde!
Other changes were adding grilled red onions, grilled bell peppers and raw chopped tomatoes . I wanted to get a fresh vegetables into my chili verde. To grill, I put my vegetables/aromatics in bread loaf pan and put inside oven set to broiler for a few minutes until I saw some vegetables were charred.
I started with big chunk of boneless pork shoulder also known as pork butt for my chili verde. Fat should be on top so that once it starts cooking, it will start to drizzle down and moisten the rest of meat.
I started by rubbing chipotles en adobo, salt, cumin and garlic to the pork.
I mixed grilled (broiled) vegetables, verde salsa, and lime juice with its lime zest.
Cooked the mixture in high setting in slow cooker for six to eight hours. I placed the slow cooker below the stove fan in order to use the kitchen exhaust fan.
After eight hours, I removed my cook chili verde. As you can notice that I added pieces of zucchini mid way through my cooking.
The chili verde sauce was spicy hot, mild tangy with smoky flavors. It was very satisfying!
The slow cooked meat itself was soft and fell readily apart. Surprisingly it was not that spicy. It was great because it allowed me to share my chili verde with a five year old member of our family and other adults who couldn’t stomach the hotness.
The best way to eat was definitely over basmati rice – just like a spicy chipotle chili verde rice bowl.
Posted in: Cooking | Tags: canned tomatillos, chipotles en adobo, Goya chipotle adobo, Mexican food, pork chili verde, slow cooker chili verde, smoked jalapeno chilies, tomatillos