Tacos with Pork in Green Sauce

Romulo Yanes
  • Yield: Makes 15-20 tacos = 6 servings


1 1/2pounds tomatillos (15 to 18), husked and rinsed
2 serrano or jalapeno chiles, stemmed
1teaspoon cumin seed
3 allspice berries
1 whole clove
3medium garlic cloves, peeled
1/2cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 1/2teaspoons salt, divided
3pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
2tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, cover the tomatillos and chiles with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the vegetables uncovered, turning occasionally, until the tomatillos are tender and khaki-green all over but still intact, about 15 minutes. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  2. Heat the cumin, allspice berries, and clove in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan or stirring the spices until they are fragrant and the cumin is a few shades darker, about 1 minute.
  3. Put the spices in a blender along with 1 cup of the tomatillo cooking water and blend until the spices are ground. Using a slotted spoon, gently lift the tomatillos and chiles out of the remaining cooking water and put them in the blender along with the garlic, cilantro, and 1⁄2 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth.
  4. Pat the pork dry and season with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy 4- to 5-quart pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork in batches without crowding, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes per batch.
  5. Return all the meat to the pan and add the tomatillo sauce. Bring to a simmer, stirring to coat the meat, then reduce the heat. Simmer the pork, covered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender and the sauce is thickened, 11⁄2 to 2 hours. If necessary, continue to cook uncovered to thicken the sauce. Shred the meat with two forks.
  6. Make tacos with the accompaniments (warm corn tortillas, Mexican crema or sour cream, chopped white onion, chopped cilantro)

Note: The pork in green sauce will keep chilled for 3 days.

From Just Tacos by Shelley Wiseman, published by The Taunton Press. Reprinted with permission from The Taunton Press.