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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pork Green Chile with Farro

One of my daughter's favorite foods is BBQ Pork Shoulder (see my post on North Carolina BBQ). This is not a small chunk of meat. One half of a shoulder runs 6-7 pounds. I try to invite as many people as I can to help us eat it, which isn't terribly hard. But, still, there are usually plenty of leftovers when you cook up a 7 pound hunk of pork. I didn't shred up all the meat last time, so I was left with a chunk of pork. This is where it ended up.

Don't worry about trimming all the fat off the pork as you cut it up. As you brown the pork, it will render out and add great flavor to the dish.

Depending on where you live, finding the frozen green chiles may be difficult. If you can't find them, you can substitute roasted fresh chiles, like Anahiems or Poblanos. I would not use the canned ones; they don't have the right flavor. And this dish really does depend on the flavor of the chiles.

Farro is an old Italian grain, a relative of spelt. It's showing up in more places these days. I got a bag of it at my local CostCo. One clear advantage of farro is that it cooks up quickly, in just 15 minutes. It has an appealing chewy texture and it doesn't get gummy like brown rice. It's an excellent addition to the whole grain shelf. Rice would certainly be a more traditional choice with green chile but I so love the chewiness of farro that I used it instead.

Pork Green Chile with Farro
(4 servings)

1 tbl Vegetable Oil
3⁄4 pound Leftover Cooked Pork Shoulder, diced
1⁄2 medium Onion, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Flour
12 ounces Frozen Diced Green Chiles, mild or medium, depending on your heat preference, thawed
1 1⁄2 cups Water
1⁄2 cup Frozen Corn Kernels
1⁄2 cup Frozen Peas
1 cup Frozen Green Beans
2 tsp Kosher Salt, or to taste
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 cup Farro

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Saute pork in oil until browned. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon and reserve.

And onions and garlic to pot and saute until onion is translucent. Add cumin and flour. Cook for another minute. Add green chiles and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer.

While the chile is cooking, heat 3 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the farro, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes until the farro is tender, but still chewy.

Once the farro is cooking, add the corn, peas, and green beans to the green chile. Continue simmering while the farro finishes cooking.

Drain the farro after 15 minutes and add to the chile. Add the browned pork, salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes to reheat the pork.

Link to PDF of Pork Green Chile with Farro recipe