Thursday, January 31, 2008

local winter verde

We've been broke (looking down at belt and tightening one more notch) so now is where we really start paying more attention to the shopping bills and start combing the cupboards for meals. Happy that we put up a lot of stuff this past summer, most particularly in September, it is time for the freezer and pantry to shine. We've been enjoying endless english muffins slathered in jam, but we need to dig deeper into dinners. I had porky goodness on the brain. A roast put in the freezer way-back-when, for occasion just such as this came to mind. Mmmmm, chile verde. Local ingredients, our hard work at food preservation, and craving for succulent pork shoulder in a mouth watering green sauce all came together. It was a Dark Days Challenge inspired: Winter preser-verde dinner.

Pork shoulder and meat stock from the freezer. Tomatillo sauce from one of those crazy canning sessions. More from the pantry in the form of whole wheat flour and homemade salt (not much left these days, might be time to make some again) are ready for dredging the meat before frying it in olive oil and ploppin' in the crock. I just love cooking like this. Defrost, powder, brown, braise. I can handle that. When the weather is cold and damp, nothing says loving like braised pork shoulder.

(sluuuuuurrrp!) Lookin' good!
Green, chunky, seedy. That's pretty darn verde to me. It was now time to work on the rest of the meal as this stewed for a few hours and shrank in volume. Not really due to evaporation but as a few pieces of pork are sampled throughout the process. Who can deny this delight in such braising events? Not me. Nope, and an unh-uh. Can't do..........

And the final result?

Mmmmmmm!
Yeeeooowww!
Hooooo-hooooo-hoooooo-hooooooooo!!!!!!!!


It felt so primal and good to enjoy this feast. Hot, local, porky and all. I enjoyed the feeling so much I had seconds. Which, come to think of it is more like thirds or fourths after all the tasting during the cooking. Mmmmmm, here's to no self-control in the kitchen around braised meat!

And wait, I can't forget to give credit a bit here. This verde sauce was lacking in heat compared to another batch I made. In subsequent leftover helpings I gave it punch by adding a few crumby pickled peppers (that you don't even want to know what I had to do to get my hands on a jar of) to the dollop of local sour cream. The first bite and right there it went over the top.......off into that: I will remember how this tastes right now and forever, vowing to recreate it with future frustration and never quite get there kind of dishes. Those ones are tricky. Could have been the moon cycle, the humidity and day of the week that all conspired. For sure, the peppers kicked ass. Well, I won't forget to mention the produce and local bounty, but still, for this one, it all came together soooooo well......(licking last bit of sauce off fingers as I finish typing this..........)

8 comments:

Anita said...

yum! We made a mega-batch of chile verde before local tomatillos disappeared, and froze it. But your methos is much smarter -- the tomatillo salsa can be used in so many ways, and pork's always in season :)

Joanna said...

sounds like you'll need to be loosening your belt back out...

cookiecrumb said...

Neat! Nice to hear how you spiced things up with them peppers. :D
I must preserve tomatillos this summer; heck, I might even grow my own.

K & S said...

sounds and looks delish! way to go!

Monkey Wrangler said...

Anita: How many huge fit into a mega? At least 4?

Joanna: It was most certainly reminiscent of Turkey day and over indulging. You are right on it there. Almost creepy like........

Cookie: Them peppers rock! And you could like totally grow them tomatillos. I hear they do great around here (a friend a mile west of me had some nice ones last year) especially over on your side of the bay where you get more heat.

Kat: Thank you ma'am! How them islands treating you?

K & S said...

aside from the wind and rain, very well, thank you :)

Chilebrown said...

You always have the killer stuff. I am going to copy you sort of. I have a little different spin on my Chile Verde.

http://madmeatgenius.blogspot.com/

Monkey Wrangler said...

Kat: You're welcome ma'am.

Chile: That is quite some spin. I have made chile verde by grilling all the veggies before but not the meat. I shall try this in the future.

Oh, and since you've gone ahead and put your blog address down, I'll have to go ahead and link you.......