Comfort food is my forte. I love eating it and I love cooking it. I mean, who doesn’t love a bowl of some piping hot meat over a serving of rice together with a flavorful gravy? Much like today’s recipe, Spicy Pork Tomatillo Stew. It’s comforting and tastes better with every mouthful.
I use pork shoulder in Spicy Pork Tomatillo Stew. Boneless chunks of meat with just enough fat to keep it tender and juicy while it stews in chicken stock and roasted tomatillos and jalapenos.
Cumin and Mexican oregano bring out the aromatic Latin flavors in this dish. If you cannot get your hands on Mexican oregano, you can substitute with marjoram. If you are unable to find either, you can substitute with Mediterranean oregano and add a pinch of orange zest.
Spicy Pork Tomatillo Stew is very flavorful, but I recommend that you make it a day or two in advance of serving. It just tastes better. Whenever I plan on serving this dish, I usually wait to add the potatoes until the day of serving so that the potatoes stay intact. It’s not a requirement, simply my preference, so feel free to make the entire dish ahead of time and enjoy.
This dish is cooked slow, but pork tends to dry out if it’s cooked for too long. To avoid the dry out, the ingredients are cooked in chicken broth in a Dutch pot and then placed in the oven. The Dutch pot creates condensation and keeps the liquid and flavors locked in. The final result will be almost fall apart chunks of pork that melt in your mouth.
You may have noticed that I serve the stew with a sprinkle of cilantro. Cilantro really amps up the flavors if you add it on top of the stew rather than adding it during the cooking process. Cilantro’s fresh and bold flavor help lift the subtle flavor of the pork and provide a more complex flavor profile.
30 minPrep Time
2 hr, 30 Cook Time
3 hrTotal Time
- 1 lb tomatillos (husked)
- 2 large jalapenos
- 2 lbs pork shoulder (cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp flour
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 2 cups yellow onions (diced)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 oz creamer potatoes (halved)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (chopped)
- Place tomatillos and jalapenos on a cooking sheet and place in a preheated oven at 450
- Allow tomatillos and jalapenos to blister, turn as necessary.
- Place jalapenos in a piece of foil and create a pocket around them to allow them to steam.
- As soon as you are able to handle the tomatillos remove the skin and cores and place in a blender.
- Once you have skinned the tomatillos, remove the jalapenos from the foil and remove the skin and place in the blender also.
- Blend on high until the tomatillos and jalapenos turn into a chunky paste and set aside.
- Place pork in a large bowl and add salt, pepper and flour and toss to coat evenly.
- Heat oil on a high heat in a dutch pot and brown the pork in batches and set aside, keeping the oil pan with leftover oil and juices.
- To the Dutch pot, add onions and saute until they soften and glistens.
- Lower heat to medium and add garlic, cumin and oregano and saute until flavors release.
- Add chicken stock and blended tomatillos and jalapenos, stirring the combined ingredients and pushing up the bits stuck to the bottom of the pot.
- Carefully add the pork and coat with liquid and then drop in the bay leaves.
- Raise heat to high and allow the liquid to bubble then cover and remove from heat and place in a preheated oven at 325.
- Allow to cook for two hours, checking regularly to ensure liquid doesn't dry out. If needed, add a little more stock.
- After two hours, remove from the oven and taste if salt and pepper is needed or you want a little extra spice or herbs, this is the time to add it.
- Add the potatoes, stirring as needed then return to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, check potatoes are cooked through before serving with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.