Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pork, Chile, and Tomatillo Stew--and positive ravings about La Perla

  • 3 LB pork loin, cut into cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 ancho chiles and 6 guajillo chiles
  • 1 cup water, reserved from rehydrating the chiles
  • 2 garlic clove, peeled and chopped finely
  • 1 small small onion, diced finely
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seed
  • About 16 tomatillos with the husks attached
  • flour, if necessary to the thicken the stew.
  • Put the pork in a large pot and cover with water, cook over medium heat while preparing the other ingredients.
  • Remove the stalks from the dried chiles, cut in half and scrape out veins and seeds.
  • Cover with hot water, and soak for about 15 minutes.
  • In a mortar and pestle add salt and the garlic clove and grind into a paste.
  • Chop rehydrated ancho peppers into small pieces and scrape the flesh out of the guajillo peppers, discarding the skins.
  • Add the peppers and cumin seeds to a spice grinder or blender and blend into a paste.
  • Add the pepper mixture and the onions to the mortar and pestle and blend into a thick paste.
  • Add the blended ingredients to the pork.
  • Slice the tomatillos into quarters, leaving the husks attached, they will give flavor to the stew.
  • Add the reserved water from the peppers.
  • Let the meat cook for about an hour to let all the flavors blend.
  • If the broth is still watery, place a tsp of flour in a small bowl and slowly blend in some broth from the stew, stir this paste into the stew and continue to cook until thickened.
  • Do not eat the tomatillo husks.

Note: If you live in the Little Rock area, La Perla off of Rodney Parham is a great location to find a variety of dried peppers and other Mexican ingredients. I was quite chagrined to have paid $5 for 5 ancho peppers at Fresh market and then walk into La Perla later that evening with a friend and find them in bulk for much cheaper. The proprietor was very friendly and helpful as well. Other positives about La Perla included Mexican snacks, such as the spoons of spicy/sweet/sour tamarind paste that I adore, and they had fresh, perfect little loafs of bread for tortas, and a small quantity of fresh produce including tomatillos and plantains and jicama.

1 comment:

  1. looks like you put that pork to good use! I am using more of the beef roast that I got at the same time you got the pork - we had roast yesterday and will have beef stew or soup tonight - I haven't made up my mind but guess I better soon :)