Comfort Food with a Little Heat

Early in our marriage, before our children came along, Wingnut and I would most often eat very spicy food. Funny thing about kids, they typically don't like spicy so much. One of our favorite dishes to cook up on the weekend was Chile Verde. This is a hot and tangy little pork and green chile stew served with warm tortillas or over white rice. I've really had a hankering for this dish recently, but 5 out of 6 kids won't touch the stuff. Sunday I decided I would go ahead and make up a pot for Wingnut, Karate Kid and me, and make a pan of browned ground beef for burritos for the rest of the crew. I even made authentic homemade flour tortillas. Have you ever planned a supper and have it turn out better than you ever hoped for? That was exactly how our supper turned out on Sunday. This was the ultimate in comfort food.

Following are the recipes I used for our Chile Verde and homemade tortillas. The tortilla recipe is one I adapted from recipes I found on the internet. The Verde is our own original recipe. Enjoy!

Authentic Flour Tortillas
(makes 24, 10 inch tortillas)

6 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup lard ( yes, you MUST use lard)
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 cup water

In a large bowl stir salt and flour together. Using a pastry cutter or your hands, cut the lard into the flour mixture. Add water and stir together until the dough comes together. Dump dough out onto a flour dusted counter and knead until thoroughly mixed and smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces and roll into balls. Roll each ball into an approximately 10 inch circle and cook on a preheated nonstick skillet set over medium heat until tortilla puffs and blisters. Turn and cook on the other side until blisters brown. Place between two clean towels to keep warm.

Chile Verde

8 boneless pork loin chops, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
4 poblano peppers, diced
2 to 4 jalapeno peppers, diced (remove seeds and ribs if you don't want too much heat from the peppers)
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp mexican oregano
4 cups chicken broth

Place flour, salt and white pepper in a large ziplock baggie and mix together. Add pork cubes and shake to coat. In a large skillet heat oil until shimmering. Place pork cubes into hot oil, being sure to shake off any excess flour, and brown on all sides. Be sure not to over fill the skillet. You will need to cook the pork in approximately 4 batches. When browned on all sides remove using a slotted spoon and set on a platter covered with several layers of paper towels. Set aside. In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add chiles, onion, and garlic and saute until onions are just translucent (about 5 minutes). Add cumin and oregano and stir until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Add reserved browned pork and chicken broth. Bring stew to a boil. Cover pot and reduce heat to low. Simmer until stew thickens and pork becomes tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve over white rice with shredded cheddar and sour cream, or fill flour tortillas with stew, topping with cheese, and sour cream and wrapping tortilla into a burrito.


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