On the Menu
Pork Chile Verde Tacos
Chef Lia started today’s class showing everyone tomatillos, one of the main ingredients of chile verde sauce. Also known as Mexican tomato, a tomatillo has a very interesting dry exterior. QUICK TIP: Make sure a tomatillo’s dry exterior is split at the top, which indicates that the plant is ripe.
We started off chopping all the ingredients for the chile verde sauce. Tomatillos were chopped into big pieces, as well as onions, cilantro, green bell pepper & jalapeños (don’t forget to de-seed!). While chopping the cilantro, Chef Lia told us that we can use the cilantro leaves as a topping for the tacos and the stems can be chopped and added to the sauce.
Chef Lia split the duties of chopping sauce ingredients among students and very soon it was ready to be put in the saucepan with preheated olive oil. QUICK TIP: Check if the oil is ready by putting in onions first. If it simmers the rest is ready to go in as well. On top, we added chicken stock to the sauce to simmer until the bright green color of ingredients turns into olive green. After that, we blend the sauce and set it aside.
Meanwhile, we prepared the pork. Chef Lia showed students how to cut pork shoulder, donated by Tara Firma Farms, into cubes (don’t forget to season with salt and pepper otherwise it won’t have as much taste!). We browned the meat with olive oil, then added it to the chile verde sauce. After that, the pot needs to be on the gentle simmer for 2-3 hours.
We heated handmade tortillas on the griddle and enjoyed Chile Verde Tacos! No one could resist and most people went for seconds!
We had such a good time with Chef Lia and she had so many great tips and tricks for cooking! We’ve listed the recipes below if you’d like to try it out. Please share it with us on Instagram @cooking_project or #thecookingproject.
Chile Verde Sauce
1 1/2 lbs tomatillos
2 poblano chiles, de-seeded, roughly chopped
1 green bell pepper, de-seeded, roughly chopped
1 bunch green onion, roughly chopped
1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 bulb garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1-2 bunches cilantro, roughly chopped, including stems
1 tablespoon ground cumin, coriander, oregano ( 1 table spoon each)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chicken stock
Sea salt, to taste ( approximately a table spoon and a half)
3lbs pork butt or shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cups chicken broth or water
Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper. In a thick 4-5 quart saucepan or dutch oven, heat the olive oil until hot, but not smoking. In batches, add the pork without crowding it in the pan. Brown the meat on all sides and transfer to a bowl. Add the next batch until all of the meat is browned.
Return all of the meat to the pot, add the tomatillo sauce and chicken broth. bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Check on it more frequently as it cooks down to prevent sticking. Taste for salt level – you may need to add a little more. Cook until the pork is very tender.
Serve on corn tortillas with Cotija cheese.
Here is a great black bean recipe to supplement the tacos.