Herdez Pork Chops with Salsa Verde
Guisado de puerco verde, a spicy pork stew in tomatillo sauce, is a popular Mexican dish which has won plenty of fans in the US, Canada and elsewhere as well. However, you do not always feel like stew, especially in the summer, so what are you to do when you want the hearty flavor of a guisado without the soupy consistency?
The answer is to serve it as more of a solid dish, with the sauce being cooked down to a very thick consistency so that it is mostly absorbed by the pork. The resulting dish can be shredded for tacos or burritos or served with rice or on its own with a salad on the side for a meal.
The traditional recipe takes some time to cook, but in this quicker, easier version, the pork shoulder is replaced with cooked pork chops – and in fact, it makes a great way to use up leftover pork chops!
Sautéing onions and garlic is the first thing you need to do when making this Mexican pork dish, and doing that is actually one of the most popular ways to begin all kinds of savory dishes. Next you can add the tomatillos and spices to the pan and then the water, and these ingredients will combine to make your salsa verde, or green sauce. The pork does not need to go in until the end because you are using cooked pork chops. If they are raw, then sauté them in another pan rather than cooking them in the sauce. That way they will be crisp not soggy.
Shred the pork to make a filling for tortillas or else serve the chops whole in the sauce, perhaps on a bed of rice or with some green salad if you prefer, or how about corn on the cob as a nice side dish with this, so the sweetness of the corn can balance out the piquant tang of the sauce?
- 2 lbs cooked pork chops
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ tomatillos, husked and diced
- 1 (7 ounce) can diced green chili peppers
- 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, sliced
- ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
- ½ cup water
- Chopped cilantro, lime wedges and sliced radishes, for serving
- Start by sautéing the onions and garlic over medium heat until they begin to turn translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chilies, jalapeno, cilantro, tomatillos, and spices.
- Add the water and simmer for about 20 minutes uncovered, or until the sauce has become very thick and the pork chops are heated through and tender.
- Shred the pork chops or serve them whole, topped with a little of the sauce and some chopped cilantro, lime wedges and sliced radishes.
This is a quick and easy variation on a slow cooked Mexican classic; while it cannot replicate all of the complex flavors which come from the traditional guisado de puerco verde’s six to seven hour cooking time, it is still a great dish in its own right. If you have some leftover pork chops around, this is an ideal way to make “leftovers” into one of your family’s favorite words. It is also more than good enough to justify picking up some pork chops just to make this recipe – and it can tide you over until you have the time to make the more labor intensive version of this classic recipe.
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