My mother had been asking if I had Dad's green pork recipe copied down. Sadly no, but I am sure it's genesis was in Elisabeth Ortiz's original The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking. This is from waaay back in the day ... wait for it ... 1967. Yet it is fascinating to look at how authentic the results were that Ortiz communicated in her recipes using canned tomatillos and jalapenos. In fact, looking up the recipe, I was seized with the desire for green pork and also seized with curiosity about making it old-school Ortiz style.
I remembered when I was in the store and saw a pork roast on sale. Then I ran all over the store picking up the ingredients. Turns out this is not actually the recipe my parents favored. (They used the recipe under this one which I may actually get around to sharing one of these days.) They never had access to nopalitos. I actually saw some and threw them in. Not that I could see any difference ... but I was in an experimental mood and going for matching the recipe's requirements.
This was absolutely delicious. We scooped it into flour tortillas. Mmmmm ...
These days pork is not what it was then and I'd use a pork shoulder, though my roast did very well. Also, my ... ahem ... handful of cilantro is actually an entire bunch. What can I say? I'm a fan.
Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz did update her book (The New Complete Book of Mexican Cooking) and making this recipe made me curious as I am sure she now uses fresh tomatillos and the like. I have requested it from the library.
Lomo de Cerdo en Chile Verde
Loin of Pork in Green Chile Sauce
2 tablespoons lard or oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 pounds boneless loin of pork, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 10-ounce cans Mexican green tomatoes [tomatillos]
Handful of fresh coriander [cilantro], chopped
3 canned mild jalapeno chiles, cut into strips
1 8-ounce can nopalitos (cactus pieces), rinsed well
Freshly ground pepper
Heat the lard or oil in a skillet, and saute the onion and garlic until limp. Drain, and place in the bottom of a heavy, flame-proof casserole that has a cover. Add the pork, tomatoes with all their liquid, coriander, chiles, and the nopalitos. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; and simmer over a low heat until the pork can be pierced easily with a fork, or about 2 hours. Serves 6.