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November 29, 2006

EC's (Spicy!) Green Chili

"Green" chili is common here in the USA Western areas, but not very well known elsewhere. Two things differentiate it from "regular" or "red" chili: the considerably increased heat level (spice heat, that is!), and the fact that it is made with pork - not beef. Oh. And for those who simply must have beans in their chili you could, I suppose, add 2 16-oz cans of any kind of white bean to this recipe -- but if I were you, I wouldn't tell anyone here in the West! This makes a lot, is started in a large stockpot and can be finished off (if desired) in a crock pot or slow cooker - just be sure your slow cooker is a big one!

3-4 pound boneless pork roast, fat trimmed, cut into large (1" sized) cubes
roughly 1 cup (or a bit less) vegetable shortening
roughly 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped fine
1 27-oz can green chilies, or about 1-1/2 pounds roasted chilies
1 27-oz can whole, crushed or diced tomatoes
2-4 fresh jalapenos, minced very fine*
1 large fresh pablano pepper
4-5 cloves garlic, pressed or mashed
1 tablespoon crushed cumin seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 heaping teaspoons oregano (Mexican oregano is best)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro (optional)
5-6 heaping tablespoons chili powder
1 large can enchilada or green chili sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
2 double-strength beef bouilion cubes, OR...
2 rounded Tablespoons beef base, OR...
1 quart beef stock
6-8 cups water (if using the stock, reduce this to 2-4 cups)
1-1/2 to 2 cups flour

*Remember, when using fresh jalapenos the heat is in the seeds, so you can control (to some degree) the heat of this dish by deciding how many peppers you'll leave the seeds in when mincing!

In the stockpot, sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil for just a few minutes (just to render the flavors and oils and to soften a bit). Add chilies, tomatoes, jalapenos, crushed cumin seeds, ground cumin, oregano, thyme, cilantro, chili powder, enchilada or green chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper (to taste) - your choice of either the bouilion cubes, beef base or beef stock - plus the water. Bring to a slow simmer and keep it simmering slowly while you prepare the meat...

Brown the cubed pork roast in the vegetable shortening almost (but not quite all the way) to a fried state. This tastes best if done in an iron skillet, but any skillet can be used. It may have to be done in batches due to the amount of pork. When nearly to the fried state, coat all the pieces with the flour and allow the flour to "cook" or "brown" slightly (this cooks out the flour taste). Transfer to a large platter for cooling. Once cooled, using two forks pulling in opposite directions, pull or "shred" all of the pork (best and easiest done on a large cutting board).

If your slow cooker has a temp setting capable of a gentle boil (and if it can handle all of the pork plus all of the stockpot contents), then this is the time when you can put everything into the slow cooker on the boil setting. Otherwise just continue in the stockpot. In either case, boil rapidly just a few minutes, and then simmer slowly for at least another hour. If more liquid is needed, simply add either water or stock.

Enjoy! Oh - how to eat! Green chili can, of course, be eaten just as regular chili (in a bowl), but it is also fantastic over eggs, as a potato topper, as a chip dip, or just about any other way you'd use a spicy "sauce".

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