You know how some of your best recipes “just happen”? This is one of those!
For decades I have loved chili verde, pork cubes cooked in a tomatillo sauce thickened with ground pumpkin seeds. We make it at home ourselves, order it in a few select eateries, and adapt the flavors to build other dishes.
I wasn’t looking to build something new when this happened. I simply wanted to see what would result in browning the pork before cooking it in a liquid. Traditionally, the pork is not browned but rather simmered in the green sauce.
I browned the pork and then cooked it in bone broth for added nutrition. When the pork was done, I started to add my home-canned tomatillo sauce. At that point things really went a different direction. Up until this year I froze tomatillo sauce. With canning I had to add vinegar to the recipe, however I had forgotten this fact.
I opened the jar and took a taste, checking for salt. Vinegar! Hmmm. If I used the whole jar as planned, the kids would have found it too sour. I used a half jar plus some heavy cream to balance the acidity and we had a whole new dish!
The sauce is brown rather than green. You taste it and would never recognize the tomatillo sauce. Everything blends into a dense and richly flavored sauce to enjoy over rice.
Frederick (11 years old), the food critic in residence, took a bite before walking to the table with his plate. I could hear him talking under his breath about how yummy it was. My heart was smiling!
Serve the pork over rice. We like it over brown rice pilaf. In the last 20 or so minutes of the pilaf steaming, I pile on a large handful of cilantro to get that flavor into the rice. It just sings with this piquant pork.
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