Spicy Pork Green Chile

by Emily Kemme

Spicy Pork Green Chile

A crowd of college students just descended on your house. They’re starving, and they’re planning on staying for a couple of days. Satisfy them with this simple pork green chile, but ratchet up the gourmet factor by serving it over pinto beans, topped with an egg and home-made Créme Fraîche. For the best flavor, make the chile over two days. The downside is that you’ll have to figure out something else to feed the starving hordes until then. Raid your freezer, or order pizza. Both are fine options. Tools you’ll need: A large dutch oven, with lid (mine is a 13 quart variety; any large heavy pot will do) A decent electric can opener (Seriously! Why should you get tennis elbow, or can-opener elbow?) Small non-stick skillet, with lid (preferably glass so you can see what the egg is up to) Spice grinder (either manual or automatic, your choice) 1 (8-9 lb) bone-in pork shoulder or butt 2 (28oz) cans fire-roasted tomatoes 2 (28oz) cans enchilada green chile sauce 1 (16oz) jar of your favorite green chile salsa 1 (16 oz) jar red salsa 4 cups chicken broth Harry’s Habanero Sauce (this mean sauce is so great on anything that cries out for heat. Once you pour it on, I guarantee YOU’ll be crying. It really is hot. Available at Whole Foods Market, or online at Boulder Hot Sauce  where it was invented, prepared and bottled. If you’re a heat wimp, you may substitute Tabasco, or some other brand.) 2 large sweet yellow onions, diced 6 cloves garlic, papery skins removed 3 T olive oil 3 (14.5 oz) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained (the number of cans depends on the number of mouths you’re feeding, so this can vary accordingly. Plan for one can of beans to serve four people.) 2 T mexican oregano 2 T chile powder 1 T black peppercorns 1 T whole cumin seeds 1 T whole coriander seeds eggs (see comment above regarding numbers. . .) unsalted butter water 3 avocados, diced créme fraîche, or sour cream

Let it bubble all day, if you can. You'll get a more flavorful, layered sauce that way.

Let it bubble and simmer all day, if you can. You’ll get a more flavorful, layered sauce that way.

Warm oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Using tongs or two forks, brown all sides of pork shoulder in dutch oven. Remove to a large bowl. Add onions and garlic to dutch oven, sautéing until lightly browned. Combine all tomatoes and liquids in a separate large bowl. Stir to combine. With regard to Harry’s Habanero, the amount is up to you. I generally use half of a (5oz) bottle. Or more, but I don’t tell Dr. K, because if he actually knows just how much hot sauce I put into a recipe, he gets nervous. He always likes the end result. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss. Place whole spices in grinder and process until finely ground. Add to liquids. Ladle liquids over pork to cover. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, depending on how hungry the college kids are. Let cool, either overnight in refrigerator or an hour or so, depending on what other foods you have available until the chile is ready. Remove pork from pot to large rimmed baking sheet. It’s a good idea to place a large cutting board underneath to support the sheet. Allow to cool. Skim fat off top of sauce. Note:  If you’re short on time, in a pinch, remove the pork to a large rimmed baking sheet, and using paper towels, gently skim fat off top of sauce. Repeat several times with clean pieces of paper towel. It sounds odd, but is an amazingly quick way to remove fat. When meat is cool to the touch, pull off bone and shred with two forks. Return shredded pork to sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste, and add liquid if you feel it’s too thick. Cover and keep on simmer until ready to serve. For pinto beans: Drain beans and pour into small sauce pan. Heat on low, covered, until ready to serve. For perfect half-fried, half-poached eggs: Melt 1 tsp butter in non-stick skillet.  Add one or two eggs, as requested, per diner. Cook on medium-high heat until egg edges begin to curl and brown. Cover, but keep an eye on it! As soon as yolk begins to form an opaque cover, remove lid, add a splash of water, avoiding yolk, and return cover. Allow steam to form and after about 15 seconds, remove from heat. Put it all together! The only tricky part here is timing:  you don’t want to overcook the eggs. What you’d like to end up with is the perfect pairing of beans, two ladles of chile, the poached eggs, and a generous dollop of créme fraîche, and a handful of diced avocado. Repeat as necessary. Tactical suggestion:  Grab a helper. You’ve got a house full of hungry kids; surely one of them will offer assistance.

A soft egg yolk helps thicken the sauce.

A runny egg yolk helps thicken the sauce.

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