Todd's Pork Chili with Green Sauce

Prepare the chiles: Pierce the chiles. Broil them in the oven, turning frequently, until the skins are well blistered; avoid blackening. Take them out of the oven and wrap them in a chilled moist towel (moist towel that's been in refrigerator for 30 minutes or more). Let them steam for 10 minutes. At this point, you can freeze them in a ziplock bag, or continue. Peel the chiles, remove stems and dice. (some books say to remove seeds and inner membrane by squeezing from the tip, I couldn't get the hang of this, and my chili didn't seem to suffer any).

Dice the pork into about ½" cubes. Braze the pork in a cast iron chili pot in small batches (so it doesn't boil) with bacon ends to provide fat and seasoning. Season with the last five ingredients (Salts, pepper, chili powder, cumin) as you braze. Transfer the brazed pork to a large crock pot as you go.

Dice an onion. Put the diced onion, diced chiles, and 1-1/2 to 2 Tablespoons Garlic (I use the jarred stuff) in the same chili pot that you brazed the pork in. Let that mixture brown just a bit (almost more like wilting), then deglaze the pan with most of a bottle of beer. Transfer this slurry into the crock pot.

Add the Herdez Salsa Verde, some oregano, and water to the crock pot. Use enough water to make it soupy.

Simmer in the covered crock pot (the cover is heresy, I know, but lower maintenance) for anywhere from 1 hour to 2 days. The result is an evil looking brew with lots of fat on top. This will frighten women and small children. Whatever you do, don't remove the fat. Keep stirring it in. At this point, do your fine-tuning of the spices; it should be quite aggressive (you still have to add the beans and masa).

Add the four drained cans of pinto beans. Use about one cup of Masa flour and about a cup of cold water and mix well to make a thick liquid with no lumps. I have a "cocktail shaker" that's designed just for doing this (for gravy). Stir this into the crockpot.

At this point, you can allow the chili to simmer covered overnight if it's convenient. Before serving, the chili needs to be "cooked hard" (it has to boil a bit) with the lid off to thicken. During this stage, the chili has to be stirred every 15 minutes or so to keep it from sticking. You can further fine-tune the seasoning here, but anything you add will not have the subtlety of being cooked in.

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