Sunday, August 24, 2008

Eating well when out hunting birds

Many, many factors contribute to my enjoyment of a bird hunting expedition. When talking with a couple of friends last fall we agreed that stylish dogs, nice guns, tasty food, good drinks, beautiful territory, and good friends were some of the key contributors. I think that we generally did pretty well for ourselves that fall on all points.

Along the lines of good food, Mike asked that I post my chili verde recipe. I took a gallon of this to Texas last fall and it turned into several good meals. I still remember one breakfast. Another group of hunters was eating cold cereal and toast while we ate fried eggs on top of chile verde and corn tortillas. We may not have killed the most birds but we sure enjoyed ourselves as well as anyone else in Texas.

Pete's Chile Verde
2 lbs boneless pork shoulder or other not-too-lean cut
1 medium onion
6 medium bell peppers - red or yellow or orange
6 pasilla peppers
jalapeno peppers to taste
12 medium tomatillos
4 medium tomatos
4 tablespoons Goya "Recaito" cilantro cooking base (from a mexican market)
2 tablespoons lime juice (a recent addition, suggested by Mike)
2 tablespoons mexican oregano

All of the quantities are highly variable.

First, singe the skins from the peppers, tomatos, and tomatillos. I use a good quality blow torch for this - MAPP gas works the fastest. There are other ways to remove the skins but this is my favorite. I don't even rinse the vegetables after burning the skins. The remaining skin just adds flavor.

Cut the meat into more-or-less 1 inch cubes. In a large stew pot or dutch oven brown the meat in batches using your prefered oil. Get the meat well cooked at this stage - that gives it a better texture in the stew. Remove the meat when cooked.

Cut onion into 1" slices. Clean the peppers then cut them into 1" strips. Cook onion in a bit of oil until softened. Add peppers and cook them for 15 minutes or so until softened. Add more oil whenever necessary.

Cut tomatillos and tomatos into 1/4" slices. Add then to the onions and peppers. Add browned meat to the dish. Add Recaito and lime juice and oregano. Simmer for at least an hour until the ingredients start to blend and "chilify". Chili only gets better with age and reheating.

I like to serve this with corn tortillas and black beans on the side. The beans are best if you first rinse the canned beans in a sieve then warm them in a pot using vegetable stock for liquid. A bit of dried tomato can be added to the beans for more flavor.

My wife insists that chile verde should be topped by sour cream. To each their own.


Andrew Campbell said...


Nice to hear from you... and thanks for the top secret recipe. Will need to see if we can find the specaility ingredients up here in the northeast. Ever made it with other meats?


Mike Spies said...

Thanks, Pete.

Pete and I have collaborated on more than one batch of chile verde. I adopted most of his recipe for my own version. The thing I do that is a bit different is to simmer the pork chunks in a little water with a bay leaf and a jalapeno pepper. I let is simmer until all the liquid is gone - 45 minutes to an hour - then brown the pork in its own fat. This results in pork cooked similarly to carnitas, tender on the inside, and slightly crisp on the outside.

This recipe is delicious.

And Andrew... chile verde is for a cheap cut of pork, and doesn't really work with any other meat.

CHAZZ said...

Wow! That is nice. Thanks for the recipe! i am a huge Verde maker myself and that has some awesome ingredients can't wait to try it out.
I have actually made some with elk and dove before although it takes alot of dove. Thanks again

Dale Hernden said...

So Mike, why don't you come to Michigan next fall with Shawn Wayment (and hopefully Andrew) and make it for us!

Shawn K. Wayment, DVM said...


Thanks for sharing your recipe!

I can't wait to try it out this fall!