Chili Verde

Locally pastured pork butt and chopped yellow onions are browned in a bit of pure leaf lard, then slowly simmered for hours in a base of homemade chicken stock with roasted tomatillos, jalapeños, poblanos and garlic.  Seasoned with toasted cumin & coriander, Mexican oregano, sea salt and cracked black pepper..

Chili Verde may be served with any number of toppings or accompaniments; grated cheese, diced onions, and sour cream are common toppings, as are broken saltine crackers, corn chips, cornbread or rolled-up corn or flour tortillas, though I often just serve it as-is alongside of pot of Frijoles charros.

Birria Jalisciense

Slow-braised Texas cabrito (young goat) in the Jalisco-style, with guajillo chiles, cumin, raw  cider vinegar, cinnamon and cloves..

Birria Jalisciense

(adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)

1 pound goat shoulder roast
1 tablespoon leaf lard
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion, diced and divided
2 Roma tomatoes, roasted and diced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3 guajillo chiles, toasted and ground
1 1/2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
2 cups filtered water or meat stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
sea salt
fresh cilantro
fresh lime

Trim the goat of fat and silverskin and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to stand 30 minutes at room temperature.  Melt the lard in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, then brown the meat on all sides.

Add tomatoes, garlic, cumin, chile powder, pepper and 2/3 of the onion and stir to combine.  Add vinegar, stock, oregano, cinnamon and cloves, cover and braise until tender, about 4 hours at 250 degrees.

Transfer the meat to a bowl or plate, then set the dutch over on a burner over medium heat.  Skim and discard any fat, then reduce sauce until slightly thickened.  Return the meat to the pot and taste for salt.

To serve, ladle stew into serving bowls and garnish with the remaining onion, fresh cilantro and lime wedges.  Serve with fresh corn tortillas.

In Austin? Many of these ingredients are available from Farmhouse Delivery

Farmhouse Delivery

This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!

Wood-Fired, Ancho-Rubbed Sirloin with Fried Plantains and Frijoles Charros

Grass-fed sirloin (Bastrop Cattle Co.) is rubbed in a mixture of ancho chilies, fresh garlic, Mexican oregano, comino and piloncillo, then quickly seared over a wood fire.  Served with salt & pepper-fried plantains and home-cooked frijoles charros (cowboy beans)..

Wood-Fired, Ancho-Rubbed Sirloin with Fried Plantains and Frijoles Charros

For the Rub (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)

2 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon piloncillo
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon half-sharp paprika
2 teaspoons sea salt

Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into a semi-fine powder.

For the Beans (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)

1 cup dried pinto beans
1 tablespoon leaf lard
1/2 yellow onion
1 small sprig epazote

2 thick slices bacon, diced and fried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fire-roasted tomatoes, diced
1/2 fresh poblano pepper, charred and diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped

Rinse and pick over dried beans.  Cover with 1 quart of cool, filtered water, lard, onion and epazote.  Bring to a hard boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender, about 2 hours, adding the tomatoes and peppers about 30 minutes out.  Stir occasionally and add more water if necessary to keep from drying out.

Add bacon, salt and cilantro during the last 10 minutes of cooking, discarding the epazote before serving.

For the Plantains

1 plantain, very ripe but still firm
1 tablespoon peanut oil or butter
sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Heat butter or oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat until shimmering.  Season plantain slices with salt and pepper then fry until golden brown. Set aside to drain.

For the Steaks

1 4oz breakfast sirloin per person
1 1/2 teaspoon spice rub per steak

Pat steak dry, then evenly coat on all sides with spice rub. Grill over a wood fire for about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing against the grain about 3/8 inch-thick.

This post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Sopes de Pollo Poblano

Yesterday’s leftover roasted chicken is slowly simmered in a deep red chili sauce with strips of fresh poblano, cumin and garlic, then spooned into a fried masa boat and topped with crisp white onions, fresh cilantro, avocado and bits of fresh cheese..

Sopes de Pollo Poblano

For the Sopes

8 oz fresh corn masa for tortillas
sea salt
1/4 cup asiento (dark lard)

Using a few drops of water if necessary, knead masa and salt together into a smooth dough.  Roll into a ball, wrap and let stand 1 hour. Divide dough into 2 large or 4 small balls then press into to ovals about 1/4 inch thick.    Flip the dough onto a hot dry comal and cook until slighty crisp and brown in spots, then use a spatula to transfer the tortilla to a clean surface.  Working quickly, use your fingers to pinch up a border about 1/2 high  around the edge, forming a boat.  Place the sopes into a well-greased skillet and brush liberally with melted lard. Shallow fry over medium heat until golden brown.

For the Pollo Poblano

2-3 pieces of roasted chicken, torn into long strips
2 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
4 New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 small poblano, stemmed, seeded and cut into strips

Briefly toast the chiles and cumin in a dry skillet, then transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Add garlic and pulse to combine, then slowly add water and process into a smooth, thin paste.  Pour chile paste into a saucepan and add torn pieces of chicken and strips of poblano. Cover and simmer until heated through, about 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon chicken mixture into hot sopes and garnish with minced white onion, cilantro, fresh cheese and avocado slices.

The post is part of The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter Thursday!

Black Bean Tamales, Roasted Tomato Salsa and Chile con Queso

Fresh corn masa spread on soaked husks and filled with cumin-fried black beans.  Served with fire-roasted tomato salsa and chile con queso..


Black Bean Tamales, Roasted Tomato Salsa and Chile con Queso

For the Chili con Queso

1 1/2 cups fresh whole milk
1 1/2 cups grated raw cheddar cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons pastured butter
1 jalapeño pepper, minced
1 red Fresno pepper, minced
1 tablespoon sweet dairy whey
1/2 teaspoon smoked chili powder
1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
salt and pepper

Heat butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat.  Add peppers and cook until softened.  Add milk and bring to a strong simmer, stirring often.  Add whey (this gives the sauce a tangy taste) and stir to combine.  Add cheese a little at a time, stirring as it melts.  Season with smoked chili powder and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in cilantro and parsley and keep warm.

For the Tomato Sauce

2 plum tomatoes, cored and halved
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small white onion, diced
1-2 small green chiles, diced
pinch of non-refined sugar (optional)
salt and pepper

Roast, grill or broil tomatoes until partially black and blistered.  Allow to cool enough to handle, then sauté together with garlic, onions and chiles until most of the water has evaporated.  Add sugar if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Keep warm.

For the Filling

1 cup black beans, soaked overnight
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/2 small white onion, diced
1 small clove garlic
1 tablespoon leaf lard
salt and pepper

Cook black beans in chicken stock until tender.  Drain and set aside, reserving liquid

Sauté onion, garlic and cumin in lard until fragrant.  Add beans and mash with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add bean cooking liquid as necessary to form a thick but spreadable paste.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.

For the Dough

1 1/2 cups coarse corn masa (not cornmeal)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock, warm
1/4 cup leaf lard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder

6 8-inch enconchada-style corn husks, soaked

Whip lard until fluffy, then blend in masa, salt and baking powder.  Slowly mix in chicken stock until a moist, consistent dough is formed.

Spread dough as evenly as possible over one side of each husk, about 1/8 inch thick.  Place a large spoonful of fried bean mixture in the center of the dough.  Fold the sides of the husks so that they overlap in the center, forming a long cigar-like structure.  Fold the empty part of the husk under so that it rests against the seam.

Bundle tamales together and steam standing upright until cooked through, about 15 minutes.

To serve, ladle tomato sauce into the center of a plate, carefully unwrap the tamales and arrange around the perimeter.  Spoon chile con queso over the top, and garnish plate with bits of diced onion, red pepper and cilantro.  Drizzle hot sauce and serve immediately.


This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays