It has been a busy couple of weeks around our household lately. School started for both of my kids and I’m happy to report that they are really loving it. Honestly, getting back onto the swing of things wasn’t that difficult despite the transition from late summer bedtimes and laid-back mornings around the house. And I suddenly have a bit more free time now, which has fallen perfectly in-line with canning season! That wonderful time of the year when I dream of tomatoes. I’ve been busy in the kitchen stocking up on salsa, sauces, and plain tomatoes for the winter. Two more boxes I picked up from the farmers market this weekend are waiting for me as I write this. But, I wanted to share this ridiculously delicious recipe with you before I dive into chopping my day away again.
I was never exposed to tomatillos while growing up. In fact, I didn’t really ever buy them before I moved to Minnesota. Now, I just love them and making salsa with them is a no-brainer. However, we’ve been getting a beautiful bag almost weekly from our CSA, so I wanted to do something a bit different, because how many chips can a girl really eat? Kidding…I can eat A LOT of chips. Pork and tomatillos are a perfect combination together– the tang from these little green gems is perfect. This stew could not be easier to make or more satisfying. The flavors are bright and the pork is tender, yet doesn’t need to cook all day long, which makes it a bonus for a weeknight meal. I love to serve it with a scoop of brown rice on top, but it can be equally satisfying if you prefer it without grains. If your family loves heat, preparing it with jalapeños in the sauce would be ideal. We put them on the side, because…kids. I really hope you make this stew– it’s perfect with the changing weather. Now, if you’ll excuse me– I need to get back to my little tomato factory. Hope you are all well!
The Recipe: Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew
2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and tomatillos cut in half
1 bulb (yes, the entire bulb) garlic, separated into cloves
1 large white onion, chopped into large pieces
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 1/2 pounds – 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted then ground with mortar and pestle OR 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
fresh cilantro, jalapeño,and lime for garnish
olive oil, salt and pepper
1 cup uncooked brown rice, cooked according to directions, for serving
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatillos, onion chunks, and garlic cloves on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-5 minutes until slightly browned. Keep a watchful eye.
Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the pork shoulder with salt and pepper and begin browning the meat in two batches, so as to not to overcrowd the pan. When meat is done place it all back into the Dutch oven.
Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.
In a large food processor, place the contents of the roasting pan, plus 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, and ground cumin seed and pulse a few times. You don’t want the mixture to be completely pureed– a little texture is nice. Add the mixture to the browned pork. Stir. Bring almost to a boil on the stovetop then immediately place in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, or until the pork is tender. Reseason with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve immediately with a scoop of rice, jalapeño, more fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime. Enjoy!
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