Monday, November 8, 2010

Pork Verde' over Rice

A primer for all my friends that are not necessarily Mexican food aficionados.
Verde means green in Spanish. This soup is green.
Green in a good way.
Green in a warm-you-to-the soul way.

This soup has tomatillos in the ingredient list.
"What the heck is a tomatillo, they look like a green tomato?" you inquire.
Well, they are scientifically in the tomato family, but are more closely related to the gooseberry. Just waaay bigger than a gooseberry.

Stay with me. I promise you'll be glad you did.
Canned tomatillos are found in the mexican food section of your grocery store. Probably on the bottom shelf.

Ingredients are as follows:
1 large soup pot
2 lbs boneless country style pork ribs
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1 large yellow onion
8 cloves garlic (yes, 8 cloves)
2 28oz. cans tomatillos--drained
2 seeded/chopped fresh jalapenos
8 cups chicken broth
Monterey seasoning to taste
Extra light Olive oil for browning

Cut, season with Montreal seasoning, and brown the pork. Set aside.

Slice onions, garlic and jalapenos.
Brown all three on low heat in pan used to brown the pork.

While the veggies are cooking, place both cans of drained tomatillos and cilantro in a food processor or blender.

Blend until it looks like this.

Add the tomatillo mixture to the onion/garlic mixture.
Add chicken broth and return meat to the pan.

At this point you can simmer on the stove top for a couple hours or dump it in your crock pot on low for several hours.
We serve it over rice at our house.

Questions I've been asked:

Is this a spicy dish?
No, but I'm a southern girl. I used small jalapenos and they were mild. You can obviously use less or none at all---but don't. The little bit of heat is what makes it fun and warms you up on cold winter evenings.

Do I have to use cilantro? I really don't care for it.
Yes. It adds a layer of flavor without being the first thing you taste when you put it in your mouth. You won't know it's in there, but you'll miss it if you don't use it. Trust me.

Can I use another cut of pork? We're watching our saturated fat content.
Good for you. I originally made this dish with a leftover piece of pork loin. Very dry meat.
If you go this route, don't put the meat into the soup until just before serving. Refrigerate the meat until you are ready to use it and be sure to heat it all the way through. I'm a 'proper food temperature nazi' in the kitchen.

How do you pronounce 'tomatillos'?
Toe Ma Tea Yos

What if I can't find tomatillos?
Look again. I'm serious.
If you find the grocery manager and they are positive they don't carry tomatillos, put your house on the market and move south. At the very least, call another grocery store to see if they carry them. You'll be glad you did.


  1. Ooooo! I gotta try that one. It looks super yummy! We love south of the border food with plenty of cilantro and spice at our house.

  2. Honest to goodness... I think you might be Don's new favorite person in the whole world. I. can. not. wait. to. try. this. recipe.

    Thank you. You ROCK! Holy moly. :)

  3. That sounds so yummy! The thought of adding cilantro really does make me a little nervous though......

  4. Leenie, folks either like or hate cilantro and it's seedy counterpart, cumin. I'm glad y'all like it.

    Justina, I'm glad Don will like this. I hope you do too. It's pretty quick and easy. A couple cheese quesadillas on the side make it perfect.

    Penny, try adding just 1/4 cup if it worries you. I promise you'll like it. Toss the rest of the cilantro bunch out for the animals--they'll eat it up. Come on, be brave. You eat venison for goodness sakes. :)

  5. Oh! YUMMMM! I love Mexican mother's people are from Texas and New Mexico. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I've printed it off and will make it this week end!!!!

    I hope he has wonderful memories of growing up close to us. I really do!


  6. I think I am part Mexican...I love Mexican food! Yours looks awesome!

  7. Thanks for the recipe! Sounds delicious and easy, too.