Comfort Food Classics: Carne de Puerco con Chile

Carne de Puerco con Chile is a classic Mexican dish, popular in Los Altos de Jalisco (the highlands of Jalisco), made with tender pieces of pork in a vibrant broth flavored with tomato, tomatillo, garlic, and chile de árbol.

Carne de Puerco con Chile recipe - lacocinadeleslie.com

Carne de Puerco con Chile was one of my suegra's (mother-in-law's) signature dishes--along with her Traditional Mexican Pozole Rojo and her Tostadas de Lomo (shredded pork tostadas)--and it was one of the first dishes she taught me how to make as a newlywed. Whenever she made it, my suegro (father-in-law) (who didn't like spicy food) would complain that the salsa/broth was too spicy, to which my suegra would respond that she had only added "un solo chilito!"

Whenever I made this dish during the four years that I was my father-in-law's caregiver, I was always sure to add un solo chilito (just one chile) to give the broth a little flavor without adding too much heat. Remembering that small detail about "un solo chilito" always brought a smile to my suegro's face, just as this dish always brings a smile to my family's face because it reminds them of my suegra.

The key to tender pieces of pork meat in your Carne de Puerco con Chile is to cook the pork meat first, then fry until golden brown before adding the homemade tomato and tomatillo salsa. For a more authentic Mexican flavor, like the kind you probably remember your abuelita (grandma) or tías  (aunts) making is to fry the pork in a little manteca de cerdo (lard), but you can also use vegetable oil. And finally, I add 8 dried árbol chiles which yields just the perfect amount of spice, but you can add as many or as few chiles as you'd like to fit your personal preference. Be sure to serve your homemade Carne de Puerco con Chile with plenty of Refried Beans, Ensalada de Nopales, and warm corn tortillas.

How to make Carne de Puerco con Chile - lacocinadeleslie.com


Yield: 8 servings

Carne de Puerco con Chile

prep time: 15 MINScook time: 1 hour and 45 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 60 mins
Carne de Puerco con Chile is a classic Mexican dish, popular in Los Altos de Jalisco (the highlands of Jalisco), made with tender pieces of pork in a vibrant broth flavored with tomato, tomatillo, garlic, and chile de árbol.

INGREDIENTS:


  • 2 lbs. pork stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 medium white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, divided
  • 6 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 16 cups water, divided
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 12 tomatillos, husks removed
  • 8 dried árbol chiles
  • 2 tablespoons manteca (lard) or vegetable oil
  • Refried Beans
  • Ensalada de Nopales

INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Bring the pork stew meat, onion, 2 cloves of garlic, cilantro, salt, black pepper, and 10 cups of the water to a boil in a Dutch oven over high heat, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for about 90 minutes until the pork meat is tender.
  2. While the meat is cooking, prepare the salsa by bringing the tomatoes and tomatillos to a boil over high heat in a large saucepan with the remaining 6 cups of water; add the dried árbol chiles. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. Remove the cooked tomatoes, tomatillos, and árbol chiles with a slotted spoon and transfer to a blender cup; puree until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Remove the onion, garlic, and cilantro from the pork meat. Strain and reserve the pork broth. Return the pork meat to the Dutch oven over high heat and fry in the manteca or vegetable oil until golden brown. Stir in the tomato salsa and 2 cups of the reserved pork broth. Bring to a boil; season with salt to taste. Cover and reduce heat to low; let simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle Carne de Puerco con Chile into bowls. Serve with a side of Refried Beans, Ensalada de Nopales, and warm corn tortillas. Enjoy!
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8 comments

  1. Thanks for sharing this Leslie. It looks delicious.

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  2. Hi Leslie!
    Thanks for the post. This sounds good! One question—why is the salsa "Red Salsa" when it is made with tomatillos? I love tomatillo salsa. Maybe Lynn will try this one with tofu??
    Pete

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  3. Pete: Glad you could finally leave a comment! :D To answer your question, the salsa is referred to as salsa roja, because it is made with chiles de arbol. The more chiles you add, the redder your salsa, but also spicier. I'm not good with spice! Let me know how this turns out with tofu.

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  4. Hi Leslie!
    I am inspired. Just read your whole food blog and am publicly vowing to make my kitchen more Mexican.
    As in: have ongoing olla de frijoles, MAKE taquitos instead of always ordering them out - great for leftover pollo asado, no?, make caldo de pollo soon, as well as arroz poblano (can't wait to experiment with more chilis), Caprichos - mmmmmm yum yum, enchiladas de papas, the list goes on. . .
    Great blog!
    -MT

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  5. yummy! ! thank you Leslie

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  6. Congratulations! You are the first claimant of "from scratch" that actually delivered. WHY do people insist on canned chilies, tomatoes, and beans... and then compound their sin by using chili powder?

    Bravo!

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