It is a cold, gloomy day here in NorCal today. When the weather is blustery, my tummy wants soup, stew, or chile. There is nothing more comforting than the delicious aroma of something warm and yummy cooking in the kitchen.
We have spent many winters in Bend, OR with my cousin and her family. Mt. Bachelor is a wonderful ski resort and Bend has lots to do when you are not skiing/boarding. My boys are not big chile lovers so I had never cooked Chile Verde for them. One cold night after a full day of skiing, my cousin made some, the house smelled amazing, the chile was delicious, and it immediately became a family favorite.
My cousin’s recipe uses only canned chiles and bell peppers – and I faithfully followed it the first time. The second time, I began experimenting because I do not like bell peppers all that much – and I can never simply follow a recipe! I was inspired by the display at the market of many different kinds of green chiles. I bought 2 of every green chile in the market and threw them all in – Perfection! I usually use either red or yellow bell peppers but you can use green if you prefer. Poblano chiles are often mislabeled as Pasilla Chiles so go ahead and buy them if that is what your market calls them.
This recipe is very forgiving and you can adjust the quantities of any of the chiles to suit your taste. If you can’t find hatch chiles, use any roasted canned chiles. The chiles and peppers break down and make a lovely green sauce when they are cooked. Chile Verde can end up a little watery. If you feel there is too much liquid in the pan, take the lid off and simmer a bit longer. I took the lid off for the last 30 minutes to thicken it in the photo below. I like to give the chile a vigorous stir at the end so the meat breaks apart into shreds a bit before serving.
You can cook this a few alternate ways if desired –
- Skip browning the meat and throw all the ingredients into a crock pot. Cook on high for 5 hours.
- Put the dutch oven into a 325 degree oven for 2 or so hours.
- Put all ingredients in a dutch oven and place in a hot (400-450 degree) wood burning pizza oven, close the door and leave it overnight.
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