Chile Verde and the weekend
Weekends are always meant for misbehaving, at least in my book, but some weekends the misbehaving is more excessive than others.
Friday I baked some bread to take to Miguel, the man who runs the bottling line at Firestone Walker. We like him, so we bake him bread. He swears that I am just trying to fatten him up. I keep trying to tell him that my mission in life is to fatten up everyone I like. He think I’m kidding.
He wasn’t there, so we gave the bread to Tyler, who works at Zenaida, a local winery. It’s his birthday today, and he loves bread. He tore through more than half a loaf while we sat around having a few pints of Velvet Merkin and Union Jack. I love watching people truly enjoy the food that I make. It’s really satisfying.
That night I actually got around to making some Mexican food! Shredded chicken and refried beans. The chicken was as average as you can imagine. Chicken breasts tend to be that way, and we don’t eat them frequently, but there were some frozen ones in the freezer that needed to be used.
Saturday morning we got up a little late, and I made chorizo and eggs for breakfast. Our butcher makes the greatest Mexican chorizo. It was truly delicious.
We had to meet up with a girl that Sean works with who was up in Paso wine tasting for the weekend with her boyfriend, and we totally had that discussion before we left the house that we were only going to go to one or two wineries, and then come home and work on the house.
It’s really too bad that wine makes you forget all your best intentions, and instead makes you want more wine. So, five wineries later (Eberle, Robert Hall, Firestone, Zenaida, and Four Vines,) and one trip to Firestone Walker Brewery (one Union Jack,) and one trip to the Mexi mart later for Carne Asada, and super hot salsa that burns your butt, and some Chipotle flavored Doritos (don’t ask,) and we were home. I think at that point I decided it would be a good idea to have another shot of tequila. (I still don’t like it, but Sean seems to get a kick out of the faces I make when I drink it.) And, things went downhill from there.
We did have dinner, but the details are a little fuzzy. I got out our biggest butcher knife to chop up the meat. Things weren’t going well, so Sean asked me if I wanted the cleaver, but I just decided to whack away at the beef with a GIANT, VERY SHARP BUTCHER KNIFE. I still have all my fingers, but the knife got stuck in the cutting board, and there were bits of meat stuck to the kitchen wall that I had to clean up the next morning. Needless to say, knives and copius amounts of alcohol do not mix kids!
Sunday was sort of a lost cause, as we were both a little under the weather the next morning. So, we cut our losses, had some leftovers, and ran to the store to get the makings for chile verde.
First though: I got a call from my Grandma to tell me Happy Birthday. She’s more than a little old, mean, and crazy, and you know my birthday’s not until next week, but whatevs. Thanks for remembering things Granny! (Those were her words: I remember things.)
Then my brother called to ask what he should make for dinner. I suggested pork. He seemed pleased.
Then my mother called to see what I wanted for my birthday dinner.
Me: I don’t know… something porky.
Lucinda (Mom): You spend too much time at the butcher.
Me: True. OMG. I stopped in there this week and picked up the greatest hot dogs.
Lucinda: DO NOT MENTION THAT TO YOUR FATHER. You know how he feels about hot dogs.
Indeed I do. Indeed I do.
(In case you didn’t get my point: Juan loves hot dogs.)
So, finally we got home, and started to make the chile verde. It takes forever, and uses a lot of dishes, knives, bowls and cutting boards, but it’s worth the time and effort.
First I chopped up about five pounds of bone in pork butt. Don’t worry about the fat too much. This dish cooks down for hours, and the fat just sort of melts.
Lightly coat the meat in salt, pepper and flour. Brown it in a pan. I used two pans because I didn’t want to crowd the meat.
Once the meat is all cooked up remove it from the pan, and add a couple of diced onions. I’d show you the picture, but it came out blurry. Next, wash some tomatillos, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, jalapenos, serranos and some other chilles, and chop them up to add to the pan. The different heat levels of the peppers add a lot of dimension to the finished dish.
Add the meat back in once you’ve added all the veggies. Pour in some chicken stock, a bunch of cilantro, add a couple of bay leaves, some cumin, coriander seeds and oregano, and turn the heat down to low and let the whole mess simmer for three or four hours.
Crack open a beer and go sit in the yard for a while watching the garden grow.
We also cooked some refried beans from scratch while the chile verde simmered.
This is what it all looked like in the end.
I know that sort of looks like a hot mess, but it was a tasty pile of spicy, melty pork served over white rice, with some chorizo flavored refried beans, and topped with a little shredded cheese. It was delicious and perfect for Cinco de Mayo.
As always… don’t forget the beer.
So, since I’ve officially overdosed us on Mexican beer and Mexican food we’ll probably be a little more low key tonight. Also, we’re supposed to go to a friend’s 40th birthday party tonight, but we really don’t want to. I was trying to think up a good excuse, but I don’t really have one, so I might just say “We have a lot of leftovers to eat. Sorry.”
I have to say hello to all of Cami’s readers. Thanks for coming to visit! Hope you all had a great weekend!!