Chili. A dish rooted deeply in the American psyche. With many ways to make it, everyone has their favorite. To my taste, green chili is a style that stands out from the rest. There is more emphasis on the actual chilies themselves; green chili lets you appreciate the flavor and depth of the ingredient from which the dish takes its name. In the Southwest, New Mexico and Colorado share an intense rivalry over pots of green chili. New Mexico uses their native pepper, the Hatch, while Colorado sides with their Pueblo Chile. Without getting into the middle of that border war, let’s jump aboard with #TeamColorado. If you cannot find Pueblo chilies, use any mild to medium green pepper. Poblano peppers are a good place to start for a milder taste.
Colorado Pork Green ChiliRecipe by Nathan Whitcomb
- Camp Fire or Open Flame
- Dutch Oven
- Several Bowls
- 3 lb. green chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped, about 6 cups
- 2 medium jalapeños, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 2 large tomatoes, roasted, peeled, and chopped
- 3 Tbsp. sunflower oil, divided
- 2 lb. boneless pork loin, cubed
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed, and roughly chopped
- 1 tsp. cumin seed
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seed
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- juice of 1 lime, about 3 Tbsp.
- 1 tsp. lime zest
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, divided
- 1 lime sliced, for garnish
- Over an open flame, roast the green chilies, jalapeños, and tomatoes, turning to char the skins evenly. When evenly done, blanch in an ice water bath, and then gently remove the skins.
- Transfer to a cutting board and deseed the peppers. Chop all the peppers and the tomatoes and set aside in separate bowls.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat. Brown the cubed pork, seasoned with salt and pepper, turning occasionally. Once the pork is golden brown, remove from heat.
- Heat the remaining oil and toast the cumin and coriander seed. Let them sizzle and pop (careful!) for one minute, then add the diced onion and garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
- Add the butter and flour, whisking to form a roux.
- Pour in the chicken stock and scrape the pan to remove any tasty bits stuck to the bottom and sides. Return the pork, tomatoes, and half the peppers to the Dutch oven.
- Pulse the remaining peppers in a food processor. Add the puréed peppers, salt, black pepper, lime juice, lime zest, and half the cilantro. Bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 ½ hours, or until pork is fork-tender.
- Garnish with remaining cilantro and sliced lime.
- 14 ounce can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes can be substituted for the whole tomatoes.
- ¾ tsp. ground cumin and ¼ tsp. ground coriander can also be substituted for the whole spices.