Smoked Tomatillo Chili

Smoked Tomatillo Chili

“Follow the smoke to the riff filled land”

You know I tried to smoke tomatillos yesterday, but I couldn’t like the joint because they were so wet? I’ll never figure out how someone can even light a brisket.

Oh god is this post just going to be filled with lame attempts at weed jokes?

Don’t you fucking know it!

I think my favorite part about cooking food, as you all might have observed, is how excited my kids are when I present them with something that they haven’t really tried before. They’re so adventurous it’s awesome to watch them try their first oyster or that time they ate stinky tofu.

Wait. Sorry. I’m high AF right now.

veggies on a grill

the smell of these burning green things...

I put this chili on the table and my youngest sits down and makes a face that I can only describe as horrifying, like I had cooked our cat and served it’s head atop their plate. Dinner went downhill from there where they only wanted to really suck on a lime. Yes. A lime. I spend several hours in the kitchen making a huge pot of chili and this fucking kid is all “OH THIS LIME IS GREAT DAD THANKS. I PUT SOME LIME ON MY CHEESE AND NOW I DON’T WANT MY CHEESE BUT I WANT TO SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF THIS LIME.”


NOT EVEN LIKE A RIPE LIME BECAUSE I LIVE IN SEATTLE WHERE LIMES DO NOT GROW (despite the fact we had a tiny lime tree that fruited but then died).


A blender full of green liquid

six days late here bud

It didn’t start this way though. I had the luck of a stretch of sun so I fired up the charcoal grill with a half-chimney of charcoal, roasted a few poblanos and then threw on a tray of tomatillos and onions to be smoked with some apple wood chips. Since I wasn’t going for anything long or slow I didn’t worry about the heat in the grill, and I didn’t soak the wood (but you shouldn’t ever soak wood for smoking), and just let them go with a handful of chips for about 40 minutes. I’m making smoke-y chili here, not trying to give these onions emphysema.

After I rubbed the charred skin off the poblanos (don’t do this under running water — you’ll wash away a lot of the flavor of the pepper), I threw them, the tomatillos, the onion, a fistful (who says I don’t give you measurements here!) of cilantro (stems included), and a pint of Mixtape Romeo from the local brewery and gave it a buzz in the blender until it was fully mixed.

While all the smoking was happening, I trimmed up a decently sized pork shoulder roast, removing some excess fat and breaking it down into more manageable chunks. (In this case, that was four. Four chunks. Four chunks o’ pork.) I salted it and let it rest while I handled the peppers. Once the sauce was ready I rendered some of the fat I had trimmed off the roast and seared all four chunks until they were golden and crusty, and then added the sauce, pork and a cup or so of water and brought it to a boil. Then into a 300º oven for four or five hours, covered, stirring occasionally.

a bowl of chili

not pictured: the first bowl of chili i ate

When the pork was fall-apart tender, I took it out, let it rest until I could touch it, shredded it and stirred it back in along with a metric fuck-ton (sorry for you imperial units people that’s a fortnight of drams) of pinto beans I had cooked last month and frozen.

I gotta say I almost never talk about how good things are on this blog since like, I dunno, I cooked it so I’m a pretty partial judge here, but fuck this was delicious.