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Chile verde with pork and nopales

Chile verde with pork and nopales
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Prickly desert cactus sounds like the last thing you'd want to eat. But -- surprise! -- once the spines are off, cactus is juicy and tender, great in anything from salads and soups to main courses and even desserts. The ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours | Serves 4

Tomatillo sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed
  • 2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and torn into large strips
  • 1 jalapeno, stem removed
  • 3 bunches cilantro, chopped
  • 3 sprigs epazote, tough stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock

Step 1Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the onion and garlic and cook just until the onion is translucent.

Step 2Add the tomatillos, poblanos, jalapeno, cilantro, epazote leaves, oregano and chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3Remove the sauce from the heat. Cool it slightly, then puree it in a blender.

Pork and nopales

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound trimmed pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound nopales (cactus paddles), trimmed, peeled and cut into 1- by one-half-inch pieces
  • 4 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into 1- by one-half-inch pieces
  • Tomatillo sauce
  • Salt, pepper

Step 1Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the pork and sear until lightly browned. Add 2 cups water and the salt and simmer until the pork is tender, about 30 minutes. The liquid will reduce to a few tablespoons. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 2In a separate saucepan, bring 1 quart of water to a boil. Add the nopales and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the nopales from the heat, drain and rinse with cold water. Combine the nopales and the poblano pieces and set aside.

Step 3Add the tomatillo sauce and the nopales mixture to the pan with the seared pork. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: From Senor Fred.

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