From My Kitchen Year: Pork and Tomatillo Stew

December 24, 2015


For more info and MKY recipes, head here.


2 pounds pork shoulder, butt, or loin

1 pound tomatillos

1 pound Roma tomatoes (coarsely chopped)

1 bottle dark beer

6–8 juice oranges (to make 1½ cups of fresh juice)

1 bunch cilantro (chopped)

2 jalapeños (minced)

1 lime



1 head garlic

vegetable oil

2 large onions (chopped)


1 can black beans

white rice

sour cream

Serves 6

Begin by cutting the pork shoulder, butt, or loin into 2-inch cubes. Sprinkle them with salt.

Remove the husks from the tomatillos, wash the sticky surface off, and quarter them. Put them into a pot with the tomatoes, the dark beer, and 1½ cups of fresh orange juice. Let that stew for half an hour or so, until everything has become tender.

Brown the pork in a casserole, along with 8 to 10 whole cloves of peeled garlic, in a few tablespoons of grapeseed or canola oil. You’ll probably need to do this in batches, removing the pork as it browns.

Put the onions into the now empty casserole, along with the cilantro and jalapeños. Add salt and pepper to taste, and be sure to scrape the bottom, stirring in the delicious brown bits.

When the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes), put the tomatillo mixture along with the pork and garlic back into the casserole, turn the heat to low, partially cover, and cook very slowly for about 2 hours.

Squish the garlic cloves into the stew with the back of a spoon, add a cup or so of cooked black beans (or a can of drained beans), and cook for 10 more minutes.

Serve over white rice.

Stir the juice of a lime into a cup of sour cream and serve as a garnish.

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  • gail says:

    This dish is scrumptious! I’m making it for our Christmas dinner.
    The combination of orange juice (I’m using fresh-squeezed blood
    orange) and dark beer and spices make this stew incredibly rich
    and complex. It has become our favorite stew! I look forward to
    making it for my whole family.

  • MarcyLuna Carlyn says:

    Is this the same recipe that was in your first book? If so, I loved it and made it a lot. Now I can revisit! Thanks!

  • MarcyLuna Carlyn says:

    Didn’t intend to reply to the previous comment. I intended to comment myself.

  • Suzan says:

    This was the first recipe I made from the book…love it!
    Hope to see you again in Tucson for the book fair.

  • Antoinette Snyman says:

    Our book club read Tender at the Bone and decided that each member should make a dish from the book and bring it to the next discussion. We had a fabulous meal and evening all round. The star dish, for myself and most of the girls was this stew. I loved it and plan on making it in the Slow cooker as I feel it will “translate” well. Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe and story.

  • lorraine reaume says:

    I’ve made this 5 or 6 times since I received My Kitchen Year last December. I have a large and growing family and all think this is Nirvana. They will come from near and far if I tell them it’s in the oven. As with all stews, it’s even better the next day. But, when multiplying the recipe it becomes too watery. Easy fix….remove the solids and reduce the liquid. I’vd been adding some tequila at this point.
    The kids (and men) all love it for breakfast on toast with cheese and a poached egg on top.

  • Kelly Malone says:

    I’m making a triple batch as I type this (!) I’ve been making this for years, ever since I read Tender at the Bone. It does indeed translate well to a slow cooker, and it’s devoured by foodies and teenagers. It also freezes very well: your exhausted future self will be so grateful to discover a batch of this stowed away! It takes a while to make, and it does use a few dishes. But when I can find both tomatillos and sufficient time, it’s a go-to dish.

  • Susan Skilton says:

    Looks delicious! Could someone please tell how to switch the recipe to slow cooker/crockpot?? Thanks!!

  • Ruth Carhuff says:

    I have been reading through “My Kitchen Year” and have flagged this as a must make recipe. It’s a late Friday night labor of love simmering on the stove now, and I’m thrilled. I put Latin music on in the background as I chopped, juiced and seared the ingredients. Cannot wait to bring this with a batch of rice to the neighbors on Easter Sunday! Remained faithful to the recipe, but let some pulp from the juicy oranges fall into the pot with the tomatoes and tomatillos. Will also bring the spinach gnocchi from “My Kitchen Year. ” Love the recipes and the personal stories, which give the recipes extra special significance. Keep up the great writing and cooking!