Sam Romero loves to joke around, and receives dozens of positive letters from passengers who have enjoyed his flight attendant skills while flying on a certain major airline. However, Sam takes his chili verde seriously since it’s an old family recipe that is beloved by anyone who happens to be lucky enough to taste it. Once a year, Sam orders bushels of chiles from Hatch, NM (considered by many the “chile capitol of the US”), roasts them on his grill, and freezes them for use in Sam’s Famous Chili Verde throughout the year. Unfortunately, many busy cooks don’t have the time to roast fresh chiles (even though fresh roasted chiles make the best chili verde hands down), but Sam’s recipe is still incredibly good made with canned chiles if time is short. To be perfectly honest, roasting chiles doesn’t take much hands-on time and if the grill is heated to grill meat or chicken for dinner, it’s really no trouble to place the fresh chiles on the grill, turn a few times as the sides char, and place them in zip-type bags to cool. Once cool, the skins are very easy to remove. (FYI: the word chile (lowercase; uppercase is the country) refers to a type of pepper; the word chili refers to a mixture containing them. There is an ongoing controversy on this subject, however, and most dictionaries don’t list chile except when speaking of the country. It’s okay if you get them confused because they are pronounced the same.)
Sam’s Famous Chili Verde is perfect to serve at the next Cinco de Mayo gathering, and even though there are so-called “homemade” flour tortillas in the grocery store, it is absolutely essential that you either make your own or purchase real homemade ones from a Mexican grocery or bakery. You need the real thing to hold up under this extraordinary chili verde, and it would be pointless to take the time to prepare this dish just to cheapen it with substandard store-bought tortillas. For instructions on making quick and easy Cheater’s Flour Tortillas or authentic Homemade Flour Tortillas, click on the links. The term “Quick Cooking” is relative, after all, and it’s faster to make them at home than to get in the car and go shopping.
4 pounds fresh Anaheim chile peppers, or 2 27-ounce cans whole mild green chiles
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 pounds boneless pork loin or boneless sirloin chops (I like these better because they are a little marbled and stay moist), trimmed of all fat and cut into 1/2" chunks
3/4 cup flour
6 cups water
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
2 10 oz. cans diced tomatoes and green chilies, such as Rotel
- If using fresh chiles, heat the grill to high; place the fresh chilies on the grill and let cook until charred, turn to char all sides. When the chilies are charred, place them in a zip-type bag and let cool. When cool, don a pair of disposable plastic gloves, remove the charred skin, the core, and the seeds, and shred the chilies with your hands into long strands. Set aside. If using canned chiles, just shred them.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and add the onion and garlic; stir-fry until the onions begin to soften.
- Turn the heat to high, add the pork chunks, and let them brown, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Sprinkle the flour over all, stir to evenly mix, and let cook, stirring often, until the chunks are brown.
- Stir in the shredded chiles, water, and salt.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes and green chilies.
- Simmer about another hour to blend flavors.
- Serve with homemade flour tortillas.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 209 Calories from Fat 68
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 33% Protein 44% Carb. 23%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 8 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 63 mg
Sodium 436 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 23 g
Vitamin A 15% Vitamin C 145% Calcium 0% Iron 9%