It has taken me roughly 2 years to rev up the courage to actually start doing something I love- cooking and openly sharing it with the people around me. There has been lots of back and forth about different names, ideas…what am I doing and who am I?? What do I like? What am I good at? What am I bad at? Will people like this? What if they hate it!?
Questions, doubts, fears and insecurities all went through my mind as I started this idea long ago. But one thing I like to think also came along with me was courage. And just recently over a podcast I heard the words: “Courage isn’t a lack of fear, its being afraid but doing it anyways.” I loved that. I could relate to that and I hope you all do, too.
I wanted to share something so authentic, honest, humble and most of all something that has courage- “The Little Train That Could” kind of vibe! Chile Verde, my favorite meal of all time. No one can make it quite like my mom though. She learned how to make it straight from the source, my grandpa, Camillo Villalpando. Its made with lots of love, spice and a little grit. Kind of like me . This stew is something I could make on a Monday and still be eating it on Friday morning for breakfast. I never get tired of it and I will never forget the feelings it brings to me. Home. Family. Love.
So let’s get to this humble but courageous stew!
with love + salt,
My Grandpa Cam's Chile Verde6
- 10-15 roasted New Mexico Hatch green chilies Roasted, peeled and chopped finely. The best are called Hatch chilies. You can find them at tons of grocery stores from the month of early August- early October. My family will buy 50 pounds of it and freeze it to use all year round until the next Batch of Hatch.But don’t worry! Regular Anaheim green Chilies work great too! To roast them just put them over your open flame on your stovetop until they are totally charred black
- 1 white onion - chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic - chopped
- 2 cans of hot or medium Green Las Palmas
- 1- 2 pounds pork butt or shoulder cut into cubes
- 1 russet potato chopped into small cubes
- 3 teaspoons cumin
- 3 teaspoons oregano
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock or water
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
First, cube the pork but into decent sized cubes. Season the pork with a healthy few pinches of salt and pepper.
- Then season with 1 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon oregano and 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
- Heat vegetable oil on high heat in a large skillet or if you have one, a wok. I prefer using a wok for this!
- Add in the meat and stir around in the hot skillet. The meat will snap, crackle and pop and that exactly what you want. You almost want it to become carnitas- esque in the pan! Allow the meat to sear in the pan for 10- 15 minutes as you prep your other ingredients.
- Next, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven. The dutch oven needs to be big enough to house all the ingredients including the meat and sauce so if you need to a stock pot will work great, too!
- Once the oil is hot, add in the chopped chilies, onion and garlic. Give it a stir for a few minutes to let the rawness cook out just enough.
- Then add in the seasonings: 2 teaspoons dried oregano, garlic powder, cumin and salt and pepper to taste. When I say “to taste” I mean to use your own discretion - personally I like to add a lot of salt because it helps bring out the flavor in the chilies while also cooling it down a little so it’s not too spicy! If it were me I would add like 3 heaping teaspoons of salt.
- Give it a stir on medium heat for about 7 minutes.
- Now it’s time to deglaze with the white wine! Use a wooden spoon to stir around and scrap up all the goodies on the bottom. Let the wine cook out for 2 minutes or so before adding in the 2 cans of Las Palmas green sauce.
- After adding the Las Palmas, add in the chopped russet potatoes.
Then time to add the meat!
- Add the 1 cup of chicken stock or water to the wok with the meat in it. It should deglaze the pan and create a little pork stock very quickly. Add the pork and its juices directly into the dutch oven or stock pot full of the green sauce.
Now let it get happy.
- Turn the heat to simmer and cover. Let it cook for an hour on low heat or if it’s in a dutch oven you can cover and put in the oven at 300º for one hour.
- Serve immediately over white rice and topped with grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream.