February 21, 2012
This recipe is one of my favorites. It’s from Tender at the Bone and I make it all the time. These days I use more garlic than I used to, and I treat the cilantro as if it were parsley, sauteeing it with the onions. And I sometimes use fresh roma tomatoes instead of canned, although the canned aren't a bad idea.
The one thing I would emphasize is that you should cut your own pork off of a single piece of shoulder, rather than using what the butchers call "pork for stew," which tend to be a mishmash of cuts that all cook differently.
If you can think of some way to improve it, be my guest. But I've been making it for 30 years……
Pork, Tomatillo and Dark Beer Stew
Remove the papery husk from a pound of tomatillos and quarter them. Put them in a pot with a bottle of dark beer, 12 ounces of fresh orange juice and a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes (drained) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, simmering until the tomatillos are soft, (fifteen minutes to half an hour – the timing on this doesn’t much matter).
Meanwhile cut two pounds of pork shoulder into hefty cubes, dry them well, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Heat about a quarter cup of oil – I use grapeseed but anything will do – in a sturdy casserole or dutch oven and throw in 10 cloves of whole peeled garlic, turning to coat with the oil. Add the pork, in batches, browning well on all sides. When all the pork has browned, add 2 large chopped onions, and a bunch of cilantro, chopped to the pan, stirring and scraping up all the delicious little pork bits. Add 2 chopped jalapenos (more if you like your food really spicy), and put the pork back into the pot. Stir in the tomatillo mixture, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and either cook it at a slow burble on top of the stove or put the pot it into a 300 degree oven for about two hours.
Mash the soft garlic cloves into the stew and add a cup and a half of cooked black beans. Allow them to warm up in the stew for about ten minutes. Taste for seasoning.
The stew is now ready. It will be even more delicious if you allow it to rest in the refrigerator for a day or two so that the flavors have a chance to get to know each other better. Reheat gently on top of the stove.
I serve it with a dollop of lime sour cream (a cup of sour cream into which I’ve stirred the juice of a lime).
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