Introduction: Slow Cooker Green Chili
Chili verde, or green chili is the preferred style of chili here in Colorado. Once you've tried it, you'll understand why; green chili possesses a unique fruitiness and slightly sour flavor, thanks mostly to the use of tomatillos instead of tomatoes. Let's make some!
Knife and Cutting Board
Sturdy Metal Whisk [Those cheap plastic ones won't work well. Your whisk should be as stiff as possible.]
Roasting Pan & Broiler
Blender or Food Processor
Ingredients [Measurements based on 6-quart slow cooker]:
6 cups Pork Stock [Hopefully made using my recipe here: http://goo.gl/im5S1x]
4 lbs cooked pork shoulder roast
10-12 green jalapeño peppers
3-5 serrano peppers
2-3 poblano peppers
1 white onion
1 head cilantro
3-5 whole tomatillos
 12 oz jars crushed tomatillos
16 oz jar roasted green chilies
4 oz unsalted butter
3/4 cup flour
Step 1: Roux the Day
Turn your slow cooker on high and heat your butter until the milk solids contained within start to snap, crackle, and pop. For me this took about 20 minutes, covered. That's just enough time to learn about roux!
A roux [pronounced "roo"] is simply a mixture of flour and fat [in this case butter] cooked together to form a paste which is then used to thicken a sauce, soup, or stew. If you made your stock ahead and stored it in the fridge you could use the layer of hardened fat on the surface instead of the butter.
Step 2: Prep Time
Dice your onion fairly small, as well as your peppers. The cilantro can be roughly chopped.
/!\Wearing latex or nitrile gloves when working with peppers will prevent any unfortunate mishaps with itchy noses or stray eyelashes/!\
To cut a pepper, first chop off the stem end. Then slice it lengthwise in half, exposing the fibrous insides and seeds. Use either your fingers or carefully with the tip of your blade, remove this membrane and seeds. Slice lengthwise into strips, and then across into a small dice.
You can leave the seeds in for a spicier result if you prefer.
Optional: Roast Some!
To add some complexity to my chili, I decided to roast half of my peppers and tomatillos. This adds a slight smokiness and mellows out the heat a bit. Simply toss the whole peppers in some olive oil, and broil for 15-20 minutes. Be sure to turn them halfway through. I quartered my tomatillos for roasting so they were easier to handle later and so they don't explode inside my oven [something that's definitely never happened to me].
While the peppers roast, set your remaining green veggies aside, and add the onion to your sizzling butter with a pinch of salt.
Once your peppers are roasted and sufficiently cool, slice the stems off, and blend with the tomatillos, the liquid in the roasting pan, and the cilantro. You may need to add a couple tablespoons of stock.
Step 3: How Roux'd!
When your onions are translucent, it's time to add the flour. There is a bit more than normal in this recipe to compensate for the fat left in the pork stock. If you cooled the stock and used the fat for the roux instead of butter, you can use just 1/2 cup of flour. At this point, you'll want to keep whisking to avoid lumps and burning.
Once this comes together into a paste, you can dump the pork right in. This is why you'll want a sturdy whisk; your goal is to break up the pork as much as possible and render out any fat left inside.
Once the pork is heated through, resist the building urge within to eat it all right now and add all the remaining ingredients. At this point, switch to a silicone spatula in order to scrape the sides and bottom to prevent burning.
Heat until boiling, then switch to low and cook, covered, for 8 hours. Store in glass containers as it is very acidic and will impart flavors to most other materials.
Step 4: Enjoy!
Serve with sour cream, fresh cilantro, and/or shredded cheese.
On top of literally anything else. It's amazing in mashed potatoes, smothering a burrito [perhaps made with some of the pork used for the stock], on a burger; heck, you could put it on a chunk of asphalt and that asphalt wouldn't taste half bad.
/!\Do not attempt to consume asphalt using green chili as an aid/!\