October 24, 2008

Jen's Green Chile Pork Roast

This is my husband's favorite dinner, bar none. He usually calls it "Green Chile Heaven on a Plate", because he loves it so much. We first discovered this dish at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants, as one of their 'specials'. We liked it so much, I decided to try and recreate it at home. This version is pretty darn close to the restaurant version, if I do say do my self. To my husband's dismay, I usually only make this once a year. The pork shoulder can be a pricey cut of meat at our local grocery store, so I wait until it goes on sale. Also, I don't want this meal to loose it's specialness. If I made it all the time, then it wouldn't be "Heaven on a plate" anymore.
It is kind of a pain to make, even with the use of my slow cooker. There are a lot of little steps, and it takes a full 8 hours to cook. Part of the cook time is on low and part is on high, so you have to stick around to switch it over. It is a really big cut of meat, so there is a ton of leftovers that need to be dealt with, as well. I think I am going to keep half of the meat separate so I can re-purpose it later, as another dish(possibly Sunday or Monday). There are potatoes already in it, so I don't need a starch component, and I think I may just skip the veggies tonight too. It is a lot of food, as it is. I figure I paid my dues last night by eating brussel sprouts (bleeach) so I deserve a veggie night off.

I should caution that this is really spicy. Not just spicy, but super-spicy. Light your hair on fire, spicy. Sweat and get light-headed spicy. I am not kidding...it is spicy! Luckily, my kid is just like his mother...he can eat spicy food like it is going out of style. I do usually tone his down a little by not putting the green sauce on it. He really just eats the meat and potatoes (which are spicy enough, let me tell you). We usually just serve this with a side of warm tortillas and some sour cream to make little soft tacos. It is so good, I cannot wait for dinner.

Jen’s Green Chile Pork Roast

¼ cup of canola oil
1 pork shoulder (usually 4 pounds)
1 onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 large can of green chiles
1 small can of diced jalapeƱos
1 large can of green chile enchilada sauce
1 jar of hot salsa
1½ cups of chicken broth
4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons of Mexican hot sauce (I use Tapatio)
1 chipotle chile, diced
1 Tablespoon of chipotle Adobo sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Spice Mixture:
Add 1 Tablespoon of each spice as follows:
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder

For Sauce:
1 cup of milk
2 Tablespoons of corn starch or flour
2 tablespoons of sour cream
Crock pot liquid

1) In a cast iron skillet, heat canola oil over high heat. Skillet should be really, really hot!
2) Season roast with salt and pepper on all sides.
3) Sear roast on all sides in cast iron skillet, until brown crust forms. Once brown on all sides, remove from skillet to a platter and set aside.
4) In a large capacity slow cooker combine chicken broth, ½ of spice mixture, diced onions, celery, garlic, green chiles, jalapeƱos, potatoes, lemon juice, lime juice, hot sauce, chipotle, Adobo sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. This should form a bed on the bottom of the slow cooker.
5) Add seared pork roast on top of other ingredients (directly on top of bed).
6) Sprinkle remaining spice mix over roast.
7) Pour jar of salsa over roast.
8) Pour can of enchilada sauce over roast (over salsa). Make sure meat is almost all the way submerged.
9) Cook on high for 6 hours. Then, switch to low for 2 hours. Total cook time should be 8 hours.

To Make Green Chile Sauce:
1) Remove roast, all potatoes, and veggies from slow cooker to a platter. No large chunks should be left in slow cooker. Keep slow cooker temperature on low.
2) In a separate bowl, mix 1 cup of milk, 2 heaping tablespoons of flour or corn starch, and 2 heaping Tablespoons of sour cream. Wisk together to combine thoroughly.
3) Add crock pot liquid to milk mixture, by ladleful to temper.
4) Once tempered, add entire mixture back to crock pot and whisk to thicken sauce.
5) Serve finished sauce over roast and potatoes, with warm tortillas.

Jen's Notes:
For a smoother sauce, you can blend it right in the slow cooker with an immersion blender (aka stick blender). Also, you can garnish this meal with sour cream, fresh guacamole, and/or diced tomatoes.

The Result:
Fantastic! The husband loved it. He was so excited that I made his favorite. I have a ton of leftovers, so I am going to morph them into tonight's dinner. What can I say, I like to keep the husband happy.

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