This will be the best chile verde YOU ever cook, but you have to understand that it won’t be as good as mine. That’s because I grow my own tomatillos and jalapeños, and I use a very special garlic from my friend Ann Carli, that her mother grows in Buffalo and the Poblanos and Anaheims from my Uncle Jesús in Whittier. And also, there might be a few secret ingredients that weren’t listed because there should only be one Burrito King in Shaky Town, but the thing is, if you’re a really good cook, and you come by the restaurant often enough, you can probably figure out what’s missing. Por que no? Why not, that’s what I had to do when my own father told me to figure it out. It was maybe easier for me, it took a week, but once I found where he hid the nutmeg, I found his two other hiding places pretty soon after.
- Rinse the pork, and throw it into a big pot with water to cover by an inch. Turn on the fire and say a prayer to San Lorenzo the patron saint of cooks. When the Romans were roasting Lorenzo on a big griddle he told them, turn me over, I’m done on this side. He was a rare man.
- Boil until the pork foams, and then pour off the water and rinse. I learned this when I was working in a French restaurant and learned to make Blanquette de veau. Put the meat back in the pot with fresh filtered water, barely to cover. Add the onion, garlic, salt, and Coca Cola. Simmer, partially covered, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours until tender and almost no water/stock is left.
- Meanwhile, simmer the tomatillos and jalapenos for 10 minutes. Whirl in blender with the fresh cilantro, garlic, salt, and about a cup of tomatillo/jalapeno boiling water. Set aside.
- When pork is nearly tender, heat the lard in a separate pan, and lightly brown the second onion. Add the poblanos, the Hatch chiles, and the Anaheim chiles. Add the cumin. Cook together for 10 minutes, covered, on low heat.
- Combine the tomatillo mixture with onion/chile mix, and add to pork. Simmer 30 minutes. That’s the recipe. I’m not going to tell you how to make beans.
Lou Mathews was once a restaurant reviewer in Los Angeles for seven years and 43 pounds. He is a notorious home cook. The chile verdé recipe is his, adapted over 20 + years from his Uncle Jesús’s recipe. Jesús says only raccoons wash their food and only Mexican coke will do.