Squirrel Picnic

Handmade with Love and Stuff


Seven Quart Crock-Pot Green Chile

green-chile1Imagine coming home after a long day of work, perhaps even commuting through the snow, to the aroma of green chile simmering in your Crock-Pot. Just one bowl is enough to warm you up and put a smile on your face. I originally created this recipe for my husband when we were first marriedit’s one of his favorite meals. Since then it has won first place at a chile cook-off and been my favorite meal to make for family. It’s perfect for so many occasions, from a weeknight dinner to a potluck. I know your family will enjoy it as much as mine has.


2 tbsp. vegetable oil
salt and pepper
5 lbs. pork shoulder, trimmed from the bone and cut into hand-size pieces
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 lb. tomatillos, husked and diced
2 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes with juice
2 lbs. Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, and diced
4-6 jalapenos, roasted, peeled, and diced
3 tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted in a dry pan over low heat, shaking the pan frequently, until aromatic
2 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. Mexican oregano
1 tbsp. red chili powder
¼ tsp. cayenne
¼ c. flour

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Season pork with salt and pepper and brown in skillet.
  3. To the Crock-Pot, add garlic, onions, tomatillos, tomatoes, and peppers. Stir in spices.
  4. Remove pork from skillet and arrange in Crock-Pot.
  5. Sprinkle flour into pan and stir to create a roux. Tuck spoonfuls of roux in amongst the pork.
  6. Cook on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 6 to 7 hours.
  7. Shred pork with a fork and let simmer for 30 minutes more.

The Tamale: A Tradition Is Born

Every year my aunt and uncle host a Christmas fiesta on their ranch in Longmont, Colorado. The festivities begin as the family gathers around the island in the kitchen to sample appetizers while Aunt Mary mashes refried beans and keeps a watchful eye on the pressure cooker stuffed full of the much-anticipated tamales. Attending this fiesta for the first time almost a decade ago was my introduction into my husband’s warm and loving family. It was an honor to attend then and it means just as much to me today.

This year, I felt especially honored when Aunt Mary offered to teach my sister-in-law, Cindy, and me how to make these tamales using a family recipe that she has worked hard to preserve over the years. Mary told us how her mother, like many family cooks from older generations, never really measured ingredients and didn’t have many written recipes for the traditional foods. She explained that when you’ve made them so many times, they become committed to memory and your eyes and hands naturally intuit the measurements.

That’s why this recipe is so special to the family and why Cindy and I jumped at the opportunity to join Mary in her kitchen on a sunny day in early November to receive her instruction. Continue reading