Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tender to the Bone

Chili Verde with Shredded Pork and Straight Up Deliciousness

Finally (sort of) a day off! In planning my menu for next week, I face my typical challenge of late night-rehearsals and many miles on the road. In this instance, I found myself in need of a hearty one-pot dinner that would provide at least a few days' leftovers.

On days like this chili is a ready answer . . . and with a big ol' pork loin sitting in my freezer- it's the perfect answer. While this recipe may seem a rather time-consuming endeavor, my time "slaving over a hot stove" was pretty minimal. I was, in fact, left with plenty of time to tend to other household chores while the pork loin slowly simmered in onions and salsa verde. Rich, flavorful, and surprisingly simple . . . I think you'll like it!


- 1 3-4 lb. pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 4" chunks, and seasoned with salt and pepper
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 12 oz. jars salsa verde
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground cardamom
- 2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
- 2 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 7 oz. can diced green chilis
- 3 15 oz. cans pinto beans
- salt and pepper
- yellow corn chips
- shredded pepper jack cheese

Heat a large dutch oven over medium, add chopped bacon. Cook until bacon begins to brown, but is not yet crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from pot with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Add chopped onion to pot with rendered bacon fat. Cook over medium until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add pork loin chunks to pot with onions and cook, turning so that each side begins to brown, about 2 minutes per side.

Add jars of salsa, cumin, cardamom, chili powder, and pepper flakes to pork and onions. Bring to simmer then lower heat to the lowest possible setting. Cover and simmer 1 1/2-2 hours until pork is extremely tender and falls apart easily. Stir mixture occasionally to make sure pork isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When pork is completely tender, pull pieces of meat apart with forks. Add green chilis, beans with their juices, and cooked bacon to the mixture. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer chili verde for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and serve with corn chips and shredded pepper jack cheese.

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