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When you walk into almost any taqueria, in the U.S., or in Mexico, you'll almost certainly find pork chile verde on the menu.  Here's a recipe that I've come up with after enjoying countless meals of chile verde during my travels to Mexico, and the Southwestern United States.

Special tools:  Cast iron skillet, crock pot, or smoker; see text
Preparation time:  About 30 minutes
Cooking time:  About 4 hours in a crock pot
Yield:  4 servings

2 pounds pork ribs, with bones
Flour for dredging and thickening
2 white onions, diced, or any variety that you have on hand
2 or 3 Anaheim chili peppers, cut into 1/2" by 1/2" squares; seeds and veins removed
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped into small pieces
1 pound tomatillos, cored, chopped and roasted; see text
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon hickory liquid smoke; see text
1 to 3 cups chicken stock, preferably home made
1/4 cup cooking oil
Salt to taste, about 1 teaspoon
Fresh cilantro to taste

Use pork ribs with bones, as bones add flavor!  Cut each rib from rack.  Lightly dredge each rib in flour and reserve.

Heat cast iron skillet to high heat.  Do not add oil.  When skillet is hot, add tomatillos.  Cook, stirring frequently, until skins are lightly charred; about 5 minutes.  Remove from skillet and reserve.  Place onions, peppers and garlic in skillet, cook stirring frequently until slightly charred; about 5 minutes.  Remove from skillet and reserve.

Lower heat to medium.  Add oil to skillet.  When oil is hot, brown ribs in small batches, on all sides.  Reserve.

Photo:  Vegetables are covering the pork, as it's all cooking in the crock pot.  Note the amount of liquid, which is about the right amount.  I only halved the tomatillos, peppers, and quartered the onions and garlic.

Sometimes I only cut the tomatillos and peppers in half, and quarter the onions and garlic cloves before placing them in the crock pot.  When cooking is completed, I will mash them up with a large spoon to the desired consistency.

Power on crock pot.  Place ribs, onions, peppers, garlic, tomatillos in crock pot, and cover with one cup of chicken stock.  Add cumin, liquid smoke and salt.  Cook on high heat for one hour, then lower to low heat, and cook for two to three hours, or until meat falls off bone.  If necessary, add additional chicken stock to cover mixture while cooking.  Remove bones and discard.

Meat should be shredded and fork-tender.  Chile Verde should be the consistency of a thick soup, but not quite as thick as pancake batter.  Add flour if mixture is too runny.  Serve over heated corn tortillas, or in bowls, garnished with cilantro.

Photo:  Chile Verde after three hours in the crock pot.  I've added flour, but I have it a little too thick, so I will add some chicken broth to give it the consistency of a thick soup.

If you have a smoker, you don't need to char the vegetables.  Place ribs, tomatillos, peppers, onions, and garlic into your smoker, and smoke until the ribs are about half cooked, and the vegetables are soft; about 3 hours for the ribs, and about 2 hours for the vegetables.  I prefer to use hickory chunks, but oak will work just fine.  Avoid mesquite, as it will overpower the pork.  Remove from smoker and place in crock pot and cook, as per the previous directions.  Do not flour the ribs!

If you're a lover of Chile Verde, you'll love this recipe.

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