Hello all. As many of you know, we cook a lot. Or Aaron cooks a lot and I rearrange leftovers. I have been going through our monthly cooking magazines and pulling out porkcentric recipes for us to test with our exceptional pork. I've accumulated a small stack and this is the first one with worked through and photographed/filmed. I conned Aaron and our friend John Cook into making it for lunch last week.
This original recipe is from Bon Appetit (https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/green-chile-pasta-recipe) - September 2022. We loved the idea of a tangy green sauce with our rich pork. We are gluten free but have found some gluten free pastas that we like (our current favorite is Ronzoni Rotini).
That said, after pairing the sauce with pasta, we think either rice or polenta would work better. The sauce brings a great vegetal tang from those tomatillos that balances the pork. The pasta bring nothing to the table, though, and either rice or polenta would bring a subtle sweetness that will showcase both.
We made another couple of changes along the way too. Have you had a jalapeno lately? Did it taste like a green pepper? Concur. We used serrano peppers instead. Since serranos can be a little too spicy, we seeded them.
Also, we used lard to brown our pork. We have lard and love lard. Pork on pork action.
And we used our Vitamix for pureeing the sauce but I'm sure a food processor would work just fine.
Finally, we think the sauce would improve with a little time. Better the next day.
As far as technique or equipment goes, nothing fancy here. Watch the broiler closely when charring the vegetables. Makes about 6 entree portions. It took us about 2 hours, about 80 minutes unattended.
2 T lard 2 lb pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 1" cubes Kosher salt 1 bunch scallions, trimmed 2 serrano peppers, stems removed and seeded, halved lengthwise, plus more thinly sliced for serving 1 lb. poblano chiles (about 5 medium), stems removed, halved lengthwise 1 lb tomatillos (about 10 medium), husks removed, rinsed 4 garlic cloves 2 t sugar 1 t dried oregano 1 t ground cumin Cooked white rice or polenta Crumbled Cotija cheese and cilantro leaves (for serving)
Heat 2 T lard in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium-high. Season 2 lb. pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 1" cubes, all over with kosher salt.
Working in 2 batches, cook pork until well browned on all sides, 5–8 minutes per batch (there should be sufficient oil in pot after first batch, but add up to 1 Tbsp. more if pot looks dry). Return all of the pork to the pot
Step 2 Place racks in top and middle of oven and heat broiler. Arrange 1 bunch scallions (roots trimmed away), 2 serrano peppers (stems and seeds removed and halved lengthwise), 1 lb (about 5 medium), poblano chiles (stems removed, halved lengthwise), and 1 lb. (about 10 medium) tomatillos (husks removed, rinsed), on a large foil-lined rimmed baking sheet; broil until charred all over, 5–8 minutes.
Step 3 Transfer vegetables to a food processor/blender. Add 4 garlic cloves, 2 tsp. sugar, 1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. ground cumin, and a big pinch of salt and process until a coarse purée forms.
Step 4 Preheat oven to 350°. Set 1 cup purée aside. Pour remaining purée over pork in pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover pot and transfer to oven. Cook, stirring halfway through, until pork is very tender and sauce is thickened, 70–80 minutes.
Step 6 Serve pork ragu over hot rice or polenta in individual serving bowls. Top with 2 T additional puree. Taste and season with salt if needed. Top with crumbled Cotija cheese, cilantro leaves, and thinly sliced pepper.
In summary of this recipe, yes to the pork and green sauce. Maybe it is better with a gluten-y pasta? Mostly a yum though. I had the leftovers a few days later and a little time does make the sauce better.
Want to try it yourself with our pork? Shop our shoulders here.
Enjoy and we'll keep cooking!