I first tried this 3 years ago when I went on a culinary holiday in Mexico. From many cooking shows I’d seen, Oaxaca was a food Mecca. The best moles were supposed to come from the region, Zapotec cuisine, Mezcal… It was truly eye opening. The food was brilliant. One of the best dishes I had was Carnitas Salsa Verde or pork stewed in green salsa, of which tomatillos are the key to. When I came home I was on a mission to recreate many of the dishes I’d eaten and this is the one I had the greatest success with. Other than having to pick the pieces of meat out of the liquid at the end to brown them, it’s a simple dish to make. Normally I would prefer to buy fresh tomatillos and in fact grow them myself in the summer as I’m such a fan. But when I went to purchase fresh ones for this batch, the state of what was available was terrible. But I was committed to cooking the dish and took a chance on canned tomatillos and to my delight, it worked out superbly. Part of the reason was the liquid they come in. It added extra tang to the salsa.
- 1 ½ lb pork shoulder roast cut into 1 inch pieces
- 6 canned tomatillos plus one cup of their liquid, mashed
- 1 medium to large white onion, diced
- 1 large jalapeno, chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, chopped
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp oregano
- Cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Queso Fresco, crumbled (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a Dutch oven or similar thick bottomed pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to the point of simmering and cover. Cook for 60 – 75 minutes and remove from the heat and let cool.
Pick the pieces of pork out and lay out on an oven safe pan.
Put the liquid in the blender and puree. Return to the pot and bring to the boil. Reduce by about 20%.
While the salsa verde is reducing, turn the oven to broil. Place the pork on the bottom rack and, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn, brown the meat.
Return pork to the salsa and add chopped cilantro and queso fresco. Serve with rice and tortillas or whatever you think works best.