Momma’s Mean Green Chili

Football is back!!!! Words can not express my excitement!

If you know me at all, you are probably aware that my blood runs green & white. I am a huge Michigan State fan. My Granni graduated at the top of her class from Michigan State — she was even on the fencing team! The hubs graduated from Michigan State as well as many other family members on both sides of our families. Even though I didn’t have the luxury of attending MSU, I spent a lot of time on Michigan State’s gorgeous campus and I always love visiting. If you haven’t experienced the beauty & spirit that exists on the grounds of Michigan State, I urge you to visit.

This time of year, I enjoy having the opportunity to tailgate on Michigan State’s campus before football games. As much as I’d love to attend every football game, it’s just not in the cards with two kids. When we do go, it’s usually chilly and calls for a special GREEN recipe to share.

My Mean Green Chili tends to hit the spot for football games — whether we watch from home or head to East Lansing. Don’t let the long list of ingredients & directions scare you away from trying it. This is an easy dish to make a day or two before… it is spicy, but the flavor does trump the spice. I like to toss my Mean Green Chili into a portable crockpot and bring it to tailgating events. Nice to not have to worry about making anything once I get there. Give it a try and let me know how it goes! GO GREEN!

Momma’s Mean Green Chili

3-4 lbs pork shoulder (5-6 lbs if selecting a bone-in cut of meat)
15 whole tomatillos, husked
2 Serrano peppers
3 poblano peppers
4 jalapeño peppers
2 onions, quartered
8-10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups black beans
1 bay leaf
4 limes, halved
1 big bunch fresh cilantro
1 bottle of your favorite beer <– porter, ale, stout, IPA; if you would drink it, add it! Might need to “taste” the beer before adding to be sure.
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup masa harina (or sub 2 Tsp corn starch disolved in cold water)
3 Tbs Cumin
Olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Chili Powder to taste

*Garnish with*
Tortilla chips
Crumbled queso fresco
Sour Cream
Cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 275˚
Season pork shoulder liberally with salt, pepper, chili powder and cumin.
Add pork & vegetables to a large roasting pan, spreading out tomatillos, peppers, onion, garlic and bay leaf around the pork shoulder.
Zest 1 lime, squeeze remaining limes, drizzle olive oil and season everything in the pan with salt & pepper.
Cover the whole pan with aluminum foil and roast in the oven until the internal temp of the pork reaches 180˚ or until the pork is falling apart (usually 4-4½ hrs).
Remove from oven, set the pork aside and allow it to rest 
for 15-20 minutes before pulling the pork apart with 2 forks.
Rake remaining ingredients into a food processor with the bunch of fresh cilantro and process until desired consistency.
Pour into a large stockpot or dutch oven.
Set over medium heat and add beer & chicken stock.
Bring to a low boil and whisk in masa harina (or corn starch) to thicken the sauce up.
Fold in shredded pork shoulder and season with salt and pepper and extra cumin if desired.
Serve with tortilla chips, crumbled queso fresco, sour cream, cilantro leaves and a squeeze of lime… or just enjoy eating it as is, with a good beer, of course. 

*Note, this chili is best after being cooled overnight (or longer) and served warmed on the stovetop or in a crockpot 2-3 days after initial cooking. The intense, initial spiciness does mellow out if you wait a day or two. 

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