Saturday, March 21, 2009
Good morning! I swear I haven't fallen from the face of the planet. I'm here. I took a week off from all things crockpot.
But now I'm back!
and better than ever!
or just back.
I had a really neat conversation last week with a mom at the softball field, and she was telling me about her husband's hunting trips and how he likes to make chile verde with wild boar. It sounded wonderful. Except for the wild boar part. She mentioned that he once put in some homemade sausage that had a lot of sage in it, and it really made the dish "pop"---so now they always toss in a lot of sage. After some googling, I learned that a lot of verde recipes use sage.
I don't really have a way to end this thought.
You can do what I did, and make the Chile Verde by scratch, or you can totally go the lazy way, and get a bottle of salsa verde from the store and pour it on top of a hunk of meat. That is perfectly okay.
4 pound chuck roast, or pork shoulder/butt (I used a chuck roast)
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 small onion, diced
1 (4 ounce) can diced chile (mine were mild, your choice)
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
10 tomatillos, diced (peel off the outer wrapper, if they have one)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons sage
1 Tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
I used a 6 quart. Trim any visible fat from the meat, and plop into your slow cooker stoneware. Add diced bell pepper and onion. If your tomatillos have the leafy-outer skin left on them, take the skin and stem off, and dice finely (I used the pampered chef chopper thingy. You can pulse in a food processor, instead, if you'd like). Pour in the contents of the diced chile can and the tomato can. Add spices. Stir a bit to get the spices down the sides of the meat. Add chopped cilantro to the top.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, high for 6, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. After 7 hours on low, my meat was still pretty tough, so I chopped it into large chunks, and put it back in the pot for another 2 hours. By then, it had shredded nicely for me.
Serve with rice, corn tortillas, shredded cheese, and a dollop of sour cream. oh! and refried beans.
Delicious. 3 out of the 4 of us ate this happily, and the other had a quesadilla. The meat was super tender, and had a good flavor. Ours was not spicy *at all.* If you'd like more heat, you can add more red pepper or top with some jalapeno slices at the table. Adam and I had the meat the next day for lunch, and it had even more flavor.
If I was going to make this for company, I'd maybe cook it over night, shred the meat, then keep it on low during the day to soak up the sauce flavor throughout the day.
If your slow cooker releases a lot of steam through a vent hole, put a layer of foil over the stoneware, then put the lid on. You want a lot of moisture to tenderize the meat. Be super careful when removing the foil----the steam will be quite hot.