Before Tex-Mex cuisine made inroads into the American culture and took its place on our everyday menus, I spent my formative years in a predominantly Hispanic community. In southeastern Colorado, chile comes in red or green; never brown and rarely with chunks of tomatoes or beans. I haven’t perfected a recipe for red chile, but my family loves my green chile, or chile verde.
There are two techniques for cooking the pork in green chile: one is to boil a roast, then dice or shred the meat; the other is more stew-like: flour and brown the meat, then cook it in a broth until the meat is tender and the stew is thick and hearty. I prefer the latter. You can substitute cooked shredded chicken for the pork, but the name changes – you may find it on menus and in recipes as Pollo Verde.
3 pounds pork (loin works well, but if you can buy it cubed for stew you’ll save a step)
salt and pepper for seasoning
EVOO or vegetable oil for frying
4-5 cups chicken broth
1 large can diced green chiles
Cube pork into 1-inch pieces. Dredge in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and place in large deep skillet with a tablespoon of oil. Brown on all sides (I prefer to pepper mine after I start browning it.)
Hint: you may need to brown the meat in two batches to brown it; if you crowd the pieces they will steam instead of brown.
Remove the browned meat and set aside; pour chicken broth into pan to deglaze it, scraping up the browned bits. Add back the meat and green chiles. Over medium heat, bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer until meat is tender – approximately 40 minutes to an hour. Stir frequently and be sure the stew doesn’t stick or scorch. Add a little more chicken broth if necessary. When the meat is tender, you can thicken the broth with a little cornstarch mixed with cold water, or flour and water. Serve as a hearty stew with warm flour tortillas, or pour over burritos, tamales or enchiladas. Makes 4-5 servings and reheats well.