Green Chile and Tomatillo Pork Stew
The tomatillo is a plant of the nightshade family, related to the cape gooseberry, bearing small, spherical and green or green-purple fruit of the same name. Tomatillos originated in Mexico, and are a staple of that country’s cuisine.
- 6 tomatillos, husked and quartered
- 3 jalapenos, split lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed if you don’t want a lot of heat
- 2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
- 3 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 1 pork shoulder, picnic or fresh ham 3-5 lbs (depending how many you want to feed or how much you want to have left over)
- 3 medium white onions peeled and quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 3 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, divided into small sprigs
- 1 cup toasted and salted pepitas
- 1 block queso fresco, crumbled
- 1 bottle hot sauce
- Corn tortillas, warmed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Combine tomatillos, jalapenos, and 1/4 cup of chicken stock in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the tomatillo begins to break down and get soft. Remove from heat.
Heat a large, oven-safe Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add grape seed oil. Add pork to hot pan and brown well on all sides. Remove pork from pan and pour off most of the oil and fat. Reserve some fat in pan.
Add tomatillo, jalapeno, onion, and garlic to food processor and puree until smooth. Return pork pan to medium heat and add puree to the reserved fat in pan. Add cumin and salt, and heat through.
Add the rest of chicken stock into pot with puree and stir to combine.
Nestle pork back into the pot of puree and stock. The pork should be covered about 3/4 of the way. Add more stock if needed. Cover and put in preheated oven for about 3-4 hours, until pork is tender and falling apart. Turn the pork at least once halfway through the cook time. Using two forks, shred the pork a bit and mix it through the sauce to get the flavor incorporated into all the pork. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Serve pork stew right out of the pot and top with garnishes (cilantro, queso fresco, pepitas, and hot sauce). Serve heated corn tortillas on the side for dipping and scooping.