GREEN CHILI IN A THERMAL POT

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GREEN CHILI IN A THERMAL POT

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Written by kmcgra
Monday, 22 September 2008

Step into any Mexican Restaurant in the the Southwestern United States and you will find Green Chili on the menu.  My favorite are green chili burritos, and I decided to make these to chow down during the superbowl.  It was a great game, and my wife and I had great food.

We got ourselves a “thermal pot” shortly before Christmas, and I wanted to give a go at making green chili in the thermal pot. The cooking process for green chile calls for a long simmer to allow the meat to break down and become tender. Once it is tender then you can shred it with a pair of forks.

What better way to do tenderize the meat than in the thermal pot. Temperatures are kept just below boiling point for long periods of time during the cooking process.

The one thing I was concerned about was that the chili would come out with too much liquid. The pot seals tightly, and does not allow steam to escape. Thus, there is no chance for the liquid to boil down.  I like my chili to be a little on thick side. This concern turned out to be a valid one, but there is a simple work around. The overall cooking time in a thermal pot was a little longer, but I did use less energy than using the stove.

First, cut about about 3 pounds of pork into 1 or two inch cubes. I used a pork loin roast, with some of the fat trimmed off.  Place the meat in the inner pot, Pour in equal parts of chicken broth, water, and your favorite beer.  Yes, beer.  Put in just enough liquid to cover the meat.

Cubed pork in beer and spices

Cubed pork in beer and spices

A variet of spices were used in this batch of green chili

A variety of spices were used in this batch of green chili


I am serious about spices, and I use a wide variety in my chili.  I drop a little bit of each of the following:

A Bay leaf
Celery salt
A dash of powdered chicken bullion
Black pepper
Red pepper
Coriander
Garlic
Basil
Chili powder
Paprika
Cumin
Basil

Other ingredients you will need:
A can or bottle of your favorite beer
6 or 7 or 8 – 4oz. cans of green Chile peppers. 
Chopped cilantro
Chicken broth
water

Also, if you can get your hands on Mexican oregano, use that as well. Mix all the spices with the meat, water, broth, and beer, yes beer, together well. Put in whatever else you may like. Place the inner pot on the stove and and bring to a boil. I let it boil for a few minutes. Then I placed the inner pot into the thermal pot and sealed it.  I let it sit for 3 hours in the thermal pot. Do not open it to check! Just let it go. The thermal pot is extremely well insulated and will retain a nearly stationary temperature for that time period with no use of electricity.

Still steaming after three hours in the thermal pot

Still steaming after three hours in the thermal pot


After three hours I opened the pot, and I was greeted with a steaming hot pot. It was as if I had never taken it off the stove.  Now, remove the meat from the liquid and place it into a large bowl.  Place the inner pot on the stove and start to boil some of the liquid off.  This is how I dealt with the excess liquid.  Grab two big forks and shred the meat in the bowl.  With a three hour cook time at around 200 degrees, the meat will be very tender and pulling it apart should be easy.

Add the shredded meat back to the liquid, along with 6 or 7 cans of green Chile peppers.  If you like more, than add more. Let everything cook down for about another hour. Add a little cilantro near the end.

If you think the sauce still has too much liquid then add a little cornstarch to a cool cup of water, and mix it into the chili while it is boiling. That will help it thicken. 

Serve the green chili on a warm tortilla with a little lettuce, tomato, cheese, and whatever else you like.

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