As you can see from the handful of recipes I have here, I have a deep affinity for Mexican food. Tacos de lengua, coctel de camarones, caldo de res, nopales con huevos, you name it, I love it. Scoopfuls of fiery salsa on crisp corn chips are my idea of perfect game day eats. For a dinner meal that’s big and bold on flavors, nothing beats for me a generous bowl of pork chili verde served with rice and warm tortillas.
I am fortunate to have a Mexican grocery a short drive from the house. Every Saturday without fail, I leisurely roam its aisles for hours, inhaling all the wonderful food I get to discover. It was on one such Saturday months ago that I learned how to make pork chili verde at home. I was poking around in the store, checking this and checking that when I overheard two customers planning on pork chili verde to serve for a party. My curiosity (or the food blogger in me) got the best of me and I unabashedly stuck my nose into their conversation. With my barely passable grasp of Spanish, I asked for a quick tutorial. What spices they use, what cut of meat, and all that good stuff. Thank you, beautiful people! Not only did the kind ladies accompany me to various parts of the store to find the ingredients, one of them even wrote the recipe on a scrap piece of paper for me to refer to. The pork chili verde I was familiar with and extensively enjoyed in the past at my favorite Mexican restaurant was made from hefty chunks of pork shoulder but my two new besties stressed on costillas (pork ribs) as best for this spicy pork stew. And right they were! The pot I made that very day and every day since is beyond amazing. It’s just so much more delicious to gnaw on snippets of meat attached to bones while sopping the robust green sauce with soft corn tortillas. Did I say amazing?
- 3 pounds pork spareribs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 cup water
- 2 pounds (about 10 to 12) large tomatillos, husks removed
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 jalapenos
- 1 bunch cilantro, stemmed
- limes, cut into wedges
- warm corn tortillas
- Trim spareribs of excess fat and cut between bones into 1-1/2 to 2-inch cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- In a pot over medium heat, heat about 2 tablespoons oil. Add pork ribs and cook, turning once or twice, until lightly browned on all sides. Cook in batches as needed. Add cumin and continue to cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until meat is coated. Remove from pan and keep warm.
- Add onions and garlic and cook, scraping bottom and sides of pan, until limp. Return pork ribs to pot. Add chili verde sauce (4 cups) and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 2 to 3 hours or until meat are fork-tender. Add water in ½ cup increments if sauce is drying before ribs are fully tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with lime wedges and corn tortillas.
- On a foil-lined baking sheet, arrange tomatillos and garlic in a single layer. Broil for about 6 to 8 minutes or until skins are lightly charred. Peel garlic.
- In a food processor or blender, combine tomatillos, garlic, jalapenos and cilantro. Pulse a few times until coarsely smooth. Makes about 4 cups.