Pork with Tomatillo Sauce – Lomo de Puerco en Salsa Verde
Ann M. Evans
Bob Black and Lori Hammond first made this for David and I for our 30th Wedding Anniversary which we celebrated with them and Patti Vernelson and Alex Hammond in Gasque at Bob and Patti’s home overlooking the Smith River. It was made with heirloom tomatillos from Patti’s garden in September. They were beautiful, purple and green, and I drew them. The recipe has changed over the years, first taken from one by Rick Bayless. Now Bob makes his own corn tortillas to go with the meal, along with beans, rice and guacamole.
1 ½ T rich tasting pork lard or olive oil
2-lbs boneless pork loin roast (pork chops cut off bone are fine or pork butt cut into cubes)
1 lb (10-12 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
Fresh hot green chiles to taste (3 serranos or 1 jalapeno) stemmed
1 medium white onion, sliced (yellow will work)
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
10 small (1 and 1/4 lb total) red-skin potatoes, scrubbed and quartered (yellow finn works too)
Putting It Together
- Browning the Pork. In a medium (4-5 qt.) Dutch oven or other pan with a lid, heat the lard or oil over medium. When hot, put in the pork loin. Brown well on one side, about 5 minutes, then turn over and brown the other side. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the pork to a plate. Set aside. Use the pot for the sauce.
- The Sauce. Roast the tomatillos and chiles on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until darkly roasted, even blackened in spots, about 5 minut4es. Flip them over and roast the other side – 4-5 minutes more. This will blister the tomatillos. Cool, then transfer everything to a food processor or blender, being carful to scrape up all the delicious juice that has run out onto the baking sheet. Process until smoothly pureed. Set the pork-browning pot over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until golden, about 7 minutes. Stir tin the garlic and cook a minute longer. Raise the heat to medium-high, and, when the oil is really sizzling, add the tomatillo puree all at once. Stir until noticeable darker and very thick, 3-4 minutes. Add 1 ½ cups of water and the cilantro. Taste and season with salt, usually 1 t. Stir everything thoroughly.
- Braising the Pork. Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Nestle the browned pork into the sauce, cover the pot and set in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes. While the meat is cooking, simmer the potatoes in heavily salted water to cover until tender, about 10 minutes. Drains and set aside. When the pork has cooked for 30 minutes, nestle the cooked potatoes into the sauce round the meat, cover and cook until the pork registers about 145 degrees F on the a meat thermometer, 5-10 minutes longer.
- Serving the Dish. With a pair of tongs and a spatula, transfer the pork to a cutting board. Let it rest for 3-4 minutes while you finish the sauce: spoon off any fat on the top of the sauce, season with additional salt if needed. Spoon the sauce and potatoes into warm deep serving platter. Cut the pork in to ¼ inch slices and arrange them over the sauce. Decorate the platter with cilantro springs and serve.