Braised Pork with Green Chile Sauce
One of my favorite meals is authentic tacos, made with shredded pork or chicken. Luckily for me, they are easy to make, thanks to my favorite cooking method, braising.
Braising is a moist-heat cooking method, which makes even tough cuts of meat very juicy and tender. It also makes for a very flavorful dish because the ingredients have several hours to meld together while they’re very slowly cooked. Braising is also very budget-friendly because you can use cuts of meat that are very affordable (shanks, legs, briskets, etc.).
Braising can be done in a Dutch-oven (wide stock-style pot with a lid) or in a slow cooker. To develop the most flavor, the ingredients should be seared first in a hot pan, nicely browned and then covered with liquid and a lid.
This weekend, I stopped in to my neighborhood butcher shop and decided to buy a pork loin roast (with the bone left in). It was on sale for $1.99 per pound, which was cheaper than the pork butt (what I would usually use for braising). I decided to give it a try in my taco recipe and was very pleased with the results.
Pork loin is lean and heart-healthy. It’s an excellent source of protein and its neutral flavor makes it a star ingredient in this recipe because it blends so nicely with the savory seasonings in the broth. For the broth, I used Juanita’s fresh salsa, simply because it’s my favorite. I buy it in the cold case at the grocery store, it isn’t a jarred salsa. You can use any type of salsa in this recipe.
Green Chile Sauce
2 cups beef broth
1 cup salsa
3 cups green chiles
Canola oil or other neutral oil, as needed
5 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 large Spanish onion
2 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon ground chipotle powder
Kosher Salt, to taste
juice of half a lime
Saute the onions and jalapeno peppers in some canola oil until they are golden brown. Season with Kosher salt, chipotle powder, and cumin. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Add the beef broth and salsa. Stir to combine. Add the green chilies and stir again. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to heat through.
4 lb. pork loin roast (bone-in)
green chile sauce
canola oil, as needed
Kosher salt, as needed
3 yams, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 small (6″) corn tortillas, torn into small pieces
Heat a pan and add enough oil to cover the bottom. Heat the oil and sear the pork on all sides until it is nicely caramelized on all sides. Season the pork with Kosher salt and set aside.
Using a Dutch-oven
Using the same pot you used to sear the pork, place the sweet potatoes on the bottom. Nestle the pork in the pot and cover with the green chile sauce. Cover the pot with a lid and cook slowly in a 300 degree oven for at least 6 hours.
Using a slow cooker
Spray a slow cooker with cooking spray and place the yams on the bottom. Nestle the pork on top of the yams and cover with the tortilla and then cover all of it with the green chile sauce. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on “low” for 8 hours.
When the pork is tender, cool it slightly until you can pull it apart/shred it. Add the shredded pork back to the broth and stir.
Serve with warm corn tortillas, black beans and rice, or simply enjoy as a soup.
Photo credit: AnotherPintPlease…