Pork Chile Verde

Pork Chile Verde with Monterey Jack Cheese

Tender chunks of pork simmered in a rich yet tangy tomatillo broth, a generous topping of luxurious sour cream and melty monterey jack cheese, a fresh pop of cilantro, and bright acidic squeeze of fresh lime juice.

That’s pork chile verde. And it’s what dreams are made of.

Pork Chile Verde with Lima Beans

Chile verde is one of those awesome one-pot meals.

It doesn’t leave many dirty dishes, and can feed a crowd with minimal effort.

The basic steps are:

  1. Cut a giant pork shoulder up into roughly 1 inch cubes
  2. Brown in a dutch oven
  3. Saute onions and chiles
  4. Add pureed tomatillos, oregano, cumin, cilantro, and chicken broth
  5. Simmer everything for about an hour, or until the pork is tender
  6. Top with crema, cheese, fresh lime juice, and cilantro
  7. Serve with warm tortillas

Giant Bowl of Pork Chile Verde Surrounded by Tortilla Chips

To make my chile verde more of a balanced meal, I like to stir in some pre-cooked lima beans (also known as butter beans) right at the end of the cook time. They thicken the chile, add a rich creamy texture to each bite, and contain soluble fiber that is great for lowering cholesterol & keeping your gut running smoothly.

I also like to get down on some chips & guac while the verde simmers away 😉

But seriously, meals like this are perfect for the start of football season (which is NOW, if you’re like our household & celebrate even preseason games).

You can put on a pot in the early afternoon, enjoy some appetizers & beer, and have everyone serve themselves when they’re ready. Easy peasy. You don’t have to worry about over cooking anything, the pork will just continue to get more tender as it braises.

Pork Chile Verde with a Side of Guacamole

Pork and Lima Bean Chile Verde

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr 25 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 4 lb bone-in pork butt/shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt & ground black pepper, for seasoning
  • 1 large onion, roughly diced
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs discarded, the rest minced
  • 1 26 oz can pureed or crushed tomatillos (or, if you can’t find them, buy ~2 lbs fresh tomatillos, husk them, boil for a few minutes in a pot of water until they turn dark green and become tender, then puree)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped, divided in half for two uses
  • 1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
  • 2 15 oz cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, for topping
  • Sour cream, for topping
  • 3 limes, cut in half, for topping
  • 1 package fresh whole wheat tortillas (or gluten free or corn tortillas)

Instructions

  • Liberally season the cubed pork with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add the pork and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well browned on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • In the same pot, reduce the heat to medium, add the onion and jalapeno. Saute for 5 minutes until the onions are just starting to get soft but not yet browning. Add the tomatillo puree, oregano, cumin, half of the cilantro, and the chicken broth. Stir to combine. Add the pork back to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 60 minutes.
  • After about 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • When there is about 15 minutes left for the soup to simmer, wrap the stack of tortillas in foil and place in the oven to warm.
  • After the soup has simmered for 60 minutes, add the beans and simmer for 5 more minutes until heated through. Remove from the heat & serve in deep bowls, sprinkled with cilantro, monterey jack cheese, sour cream, and fresh lime juice. Serve with warm tortillas. (I like to rip up the tortillas and stir them into the stew.) Enjoy!
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Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Ah, I needed some Asian flavors after 18 days in Europe.

While I LOVE all things pasta/pizza/panini, sometimes a girl needs a break from wheat!

This recipe is actually a throwback. I created & posted it on my old blog, waaaaay back in 2011. (Crazy to think I started blogging (albeit only sporadically) five years ago!)

Safe to say, it’s a winner.

I only keep recipes in my running repertoire if I really really enjoy them. Otherwise, I make something new. My general cooking philosophy is “Why make the same thing twice, when there are so many amazing recipes to try?!”

Vietnamese Noodle Soup with Fresh Herbs

This soup is inspired by Vietnamese pho.

Way back in 2011, I probably spent some time explaining what pho is, but it’s become a pretty mainstream soup these days, so I won’t waste my breath (or, keystrokes, I should say).

The best part is, it has the wonderful flavor profile of pho broth (thanks to ginger, garlic, onion, star anise, & cinnamon), but simmers for just 20 minutes.

Rather than using the authentic oxtail to flavor the  broth, I cheated and used chicken broth 🙂 And instead of thinly slicing some raw beef & having it quick-cook when served in the boiling hot broth, I just sautéed some strips of pork & cooked them in the broth. These simple swaps make this soup totally easy, and totally delicious.

The toppings are key to this soup.

The fresh cucumber, bean sprouts, lime, and herbs balance the warm, soothing, rich broth. You get the comforting feeling of mom’s chicken soup, with a fresh pop of herbs and veggies (plus a spicy kick from sriracha, if you choose to indulge). Win-win.

And even though it’s a soup, it somehow feels appropriate on a warm summer evening. Can’t wait for you to enjoy it!

Vietnamese Noodle Soup

 

Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips, about 1 1/2 inches in length, 1/4 inch in width
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
  • 1 inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomato
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (check label for gluten free, if needed)
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 oz rice noodles
  • 3 limes, halved
  • several handfuls mung bean sprouts, for garnish
  • 1/2 english cucumber, quartered and thinly sliced, for garnish
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, minced for garnish
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, minced for garnish
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced for garnish
  • Sriracha, for garnish

Instructions

  • Season the pork with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is just browning, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the scallions, ginger, garlic, and onion and saute for 3 more minutes until very fragrant. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, water, fish sauce, star anise, and cinnamon stick to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, soak the rice noodles in boiling water for about 10 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside.
  • When the soup is done simmering, remove the cinnamon stick and star anise and stir in the juice of 1 lime. To serve, add rice noodles to your bowl, then ladle some soup over the noodles. Top with bean sprouts, cucumber, fresh herbs, fresh lime juice, and a drizzle of siracha. Serve immediately.
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Beef and Apricot Tagine

Beef and Apricot Tagine Over Couscous Closeup Overhead Shot in a Large White Bowl

There’s something so satisfying about slow cooked meals.

Hours of simmering turns cheap (re: tough) cuts of meat into melt-in-your-mouth tender morsels, and the stewing process develops a complexity of flavors you simply can’t get with quick cooking methods.

Every culture has their own form of a stew.

In Hungary it’s goulash, in France it’s beef bourguignon or daube, in the US it’s chili or gumbo, in Brazil it’s feijoada, in Ireland it’s Irish stew, in Ethiopia it’s wat, and in Northern Africa, it’s tagine.

Traditionally, tagines are cooked in a shallow pot with a cone shaped lid.

As the stew cooks, any liquid that evaporates condenses on the lid and drips back into the stew. This keeps the stew moist and delicious.

You can purchase tagines online, or at specialty stores like Sur La Table. While they are a unique piece to have, I’ve found that a heavy lidded pot, like an enameled cast iron Dutch oven, works just as well.

Many traditional tagines use lamb, but I opted for a cheaper cut of beef to make the meal more budget friendly. I based this recipe off of a lamb tagine from Food & Wine magazine, simply swapping out lamb shanks for beef cubes, & switching up the spices a tad. I also chose to chop the apricots, since I personally don’t like gigantic bites of rehydrated dried fruit 🙂

I promise, you won’t be disappointed by this stew. The beef is super duper tender, the cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, and ginger spice everything so richly, and the plump apricots and garbanzo beans give it lots of fiber and heft.

Don’t skimp the couscous either. Cooking it in chicken broth imparts so much flavor, and stirring in chopped roasted almonds and parsley add delicious crunch and flavor to the dish.

This is the perfect meal for a lazy Sunday with family.

Let it simmer on the stove while you enjoy great conversation and mezze (appetizers), then serve family style.

Beef and Apricot Tagine with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

 

Beef and Apricot Tagine

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 50 mins
Total Time3 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 8
Author: Erica Julson

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut into a small dice
  • 2 large carrots, cut into a small dice
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried ground turmeric
  • 2 3- inch whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley + 2 tablespoons for couscous
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
  • 12 oz dried apricots, quartered
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 2/3 cup chopped roasted almonds

Instructions

  • Fill an enameled cast iron dutch oven 2/3rds full with water and bring to a boil. Use a small knife to cut an “x” through the skin on the bottom of the tomatoes. Place in the pot of boiling water and blanch until the skin starts to peel back from the ‘x’ cuts on the bottom of the tomatoes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Dump the boiling water and put the dutch oven back on the stove.
  • When the tomatoes are cooled, carefully peel off the skins & cut the tomatoes into a small dice. Set aside.
  • Next, add two tablespoons olive oil to the dutch oven and warm over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the stew meat generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Add to the pot and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely browned on all sides, about 10-15 minutes. When done, use a slotted spoon to remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, carrots, garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and cinnamon sticks to the pot. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the beef back to the pot and stir in the wine. Increase the heat to bring to a simmer and cook for about 3 minutes to let some of the alcohol cook off. Add the tomatoes, 4 cups (1 quart) chicken stock, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, and 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro. Bring to a simmer again, cover, and let simmer lightly for about 1 1/2 hours, until the beef is just tender.
  • Add the apricots and honey to the pot, and cook covered for another 30 minutes, until then beef is meltingly tender. Scoop out the cinnamon sticks and discard. Stir in the chickpeas, and season the tagine to taste with salt and pepper.
  • While the tagine is in its last 30 minutes of cooking, prep the couscous. Put the dried couscous in a heatproof bowl. Place the other quart of chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, and pour the broth over the couscous. Cover with a plate or lid or foil and let the couscous absorb the liquid for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and stir in the almonds and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley.
  • To serve, spoon some couscous into a bowl and ladle a few scoops of tagine on top. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro & enjoy.

 

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