Mixtli Chile Verde
At their tiny but influential San Antonio restaurant, Mixtli, Chefs Diego Galicia and Rico Torres buck the city’s reputation for Tex-Mex by serving an ever-changing tasting menu of ultra-regional Mexican cuisine. Here, they share their recipe for chile verde, which, they explain, “is such a hit on cold days. And hot ones too. The brightness of the green chiles pairs so well with the tanginess of the tomatillos.” Like most braises, this dish is even better the second day, when it’s perfect served as breakfast with a couple of fried eggs and tortillas. If you can’t find Hatch chiles, increase the quantity of poblanos, and feel free to adjust the number of jalapeños to suit your preference for spiciness.
For the tomatillo-chile puree:
- 6 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 5 Hatch chiles
- 3 poblano chiles
- 2 jalapeño chiles
- 1/2 large white onion, quartered
- 3 large unpeeled garlic cloves
- 3/4 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) fresh cilantro leaves
- Kosher salt
2 lb. (1 kg) boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbs. vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) white wine
- 8 cups (2 quarts/2 l) chicken broth
- 3 large russet potatoes, peeled, diced and reserved in cold water
- Crumbled queso fresco for serving
- Fresh cilantro leaves for serving
- Warmed corn tortillas for serving
- Lime wedges for serving
Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with aluminum foil.
To make the tomatillo-chile puree, spread the tomatillos, chiles, onion and garlic cloves on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the garlic to a plate. Continue roasting the remaining vegetables until the chiles are charred and blistered and the tomatillos and onions are lightly charred and browned, 10 to 15 minutes more. Transfer the tomatillos and onion to a blender, and transfer the chiles to a heatproof bowl. Pour any juices from the baking sheet into the blender with the tomatillos and onion.
Cover the bowl with the chiles with plastic wrap and let cool until cool enough to handle. Peel off the charred skin from the chiles and remove the seeds. Add the chiles to the blender along with any juices from the bowl. Peel the garlic and add to the blender. Blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and blend again until incorporated. Season with salt. Set the mixture aside.
Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm the vegetable oil. Working in batches, add the pork and sear, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate.
Carefully pour off most of the fat in the pot and discard. Return the pot to the heat, add the wine and deglaze the pot, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
Return the pork to the pot and add the tomatillo-chile puree and broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pork is fork-tender, about 3 hours. Add the potatoes, re-cover and continue cooking until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
To serve, spoon the chile verde into individual bowls and sprinkle with queso freso and cilantro. Serve with warm corn tortillas and lime wedges alongside. Serves 4 to 6.
Recipe courtesy of Diego Galicia and Rico Torres, chef/partners at Mixtli, San Antonio, TX