Virginia Hinojosa, who used to work at our Tacolicious Mission District kitchen, did more than cook for us. She kept our whole kitchen crew in line (which is how her nickname was born). One day, Virginia brought in her own delicious chile verde for us to sample. We had to have the recipe. Although we’ve tweaked it a bit, it’s about as simple as can be: no browning of meat, no roasting of vegetables, just truly humble cooking with a lot of love. Once the meat is cooked, you will be left with a heavenly pork-and-chile-infused broth that we recommend you reserve for another use. You can turn it into a soup by adding some chicken broth, or try an easy riff on pozole by adding hominy and shredded cabbage.
- In a large pot, combine the tomatillos, jalapeño chiles, and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Turn down the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the tomatillos and chiles are soft. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the contents of the pot to a blender, add the garlic, chopped onion, cilantro, and salt, and process until smooth. If your blender is too small to accommodate everything in one batch, puree the ingredients in two batches.
- Dry the pot, place it over medium heat, and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the poblano chile and sliced onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until the onions are softened. Add the pork, pour in the tomatillo- jalapeño mixture, and bring to a simmer. Turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, for 2 to 21/2 hours, until the pork is tender enough to pull apart with forks. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a bowl with some of its juice. Using a couple of forks, shred the meat into chunky pieces.
- Serve with the tortillas, onion, cilantro, salsa, and lime.
Recipe courtesy of Tacolicious: Festive Recipes for Tacos, Snacks, Cocktails and More by Sara Deseran (Ten Speed Press).