Green Chile with Pork (3 Days)

January 15, 2016

Las Margaritas - Tortilla Flats

This recipe was supplied to us by listener John G. who says he got it from Richard Gutierrez, whose family ran the old Las Margaritas at I-25 and County Line Rd. in the 70's and 80's. Richard was married to one of the daughters of Helen Estrada, who ran Tortilla Flats. John claims to have tweaked the recipe but says it tastes the same as the original. 

The process John uses takes three days, and is fairly straightforward. Specialty items you will need include:

6-quart Crock-Pot
A blender or food processor
Sufficient plastic food-grade tubs to hold the 6 quarts of chile you will be making.
Unless you plan on eating the entire 6 quarts at one sitting, you will also need smaller plastic tubs to freeze and store your chile.  

The recipe calls for green chile peppers. John suggests, if it's at all possible, to begin with a quart of seeded, peeled, freshly roasted peppers, either grown and roasted yourself or purchased from one of the many vendors at farmer's markets and roadside stands. A quarter bushel of fresh peppers reduces to a quart. Augment the fresh peppers with frozen Bueno brand peppers available at King Soopers. You will need three tubs of the Bueno peppers. If you can't procure the freshly roasted peppers, you can use the Bueno peppers exclusively, in which case you'll need five tubs. No matter which way you go, pay attention to the heat level of the peppers you use. John is careful to point out not to use canned peppers which have chemical additives that alter the taste. 

You will also need:

1 small can of diced Jalapenos
3-4 medium tomatoes
3 large garlic cloves
½ medium onion
½ tsp Marjoram
Corn or vegetable oil for frying
1 tsp white vinegar
3 tsp Dixon Red Chile Powder* or medium-heat, quality, red chile powder
Salt to taste 
½ tsp fresh ground Black Pepper
2 tsp granules or 2 cubes chicken bullion    
Up to ½ tsp Cumin to your taste
1 can Campbell’s French Onion concentrated soup
3.5-4 lbs Pork shoulder roast with bone in
2 tsp Corn Oil
About ¼ cup flour

*Dixon Red Chile powder available at in Santa Fe

First Day

Put roast in Crock Pot and cover with French Onion soup and a half can of water.  Sprinkle with 3 teaspoons of the chile powder. Cook until done. Baste often. The roast is done when the meat is pulled away from the bone.  Put roast in a heavy zip lock bag and refrigerate. Pour the gravy, fat and all, into a  large plastic tub. Refrigerate.

Second Day

Blanch tomatoes. Cool and skin. Cut the roast into bite sized chunks. Save the bone. Skim the fat off the gravy and discard. Put the chunks of roast in containers along with the bone. Dice the onion and garlic cloves and fry in corn oil. When onions are clear, add enough flour to cover the onion mix. Turn up heat and stir. This is best done in a metal unlined pan. Iron is best. Stir and flip until the flour turns golden. Take off heat and let cool.  When cool put in with the gravy and add the vinegar.

Load your first batch of chiles into your blender or food processor along with the tomatoes and the jalapenos. If you're using home-grown or purchased fresh chiles for your first batch, you'll probably have to add water to cover the chiles. The Bueno frozen chiles shouldn't need any extra water. Be sure the Bueno chiles are defrosted before you process them. Process all the chiles in batches, then add enough water to bring the entire volume to 6 quarts. Refrigerate overnight. 

Third Day

Early in the morning put all the 6 quarts of chile in the Crock Pot set to high heat. It will take about three hours until it approaches a boil. At that point, turn the heat down to low and stir. Continue to stir every now and then. About two hours later, remove the bone, take off any additional meat and add it to the Crock Pot. Continue to cook. When you see fat float to the surface, skim it off. Add salt to taste. The whole process from start to finish should take 6 to 7 hours. 

Leftover chile freezes well.