Until this year, my experience with tomatillos consisted of salsa verde in the local Mexican restaurant. Naturally, since I’d never really eaten or cooked with them, I decided to plant some. Turns out they’re really easy to grow. What’s hard is getting them to stop. Next year, I think I’ll only plant one.
Now that I’m buried in tomatillos, I had to start coming up with ways to use them. This chili is a nice departure from the usual red meat, beans, and tomatoes. Tomatillos have a pleasantly tart flavor (I guess similar to a green tomato, which they look an awful lot like), so it’s a bit lighter in flavor, and more suitable for a late-summer meal. Recipe is adapted from EatingWell.
Tomatillo and Pork Chili
1 pound ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 tomatillos, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup dried pinto beans
1/2 cup dried hominy
4 cups homemade chicken broth
1 Tbsp dried cumin
1 tsp dried ground chipotle
Couple sprigs of fresh oregano, leaves stripped and chopped
Salt and pepper
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
Soak the beans and hominy (in separate bowls) in enough water to cover by a few inches for 8-12 hours.
In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the pork for 2-3 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is just starting to brown, adding a splash of olive oil if there isn’t enough fat from the pork.
Add the tomatillos, broth, soaked beans, and hominy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until the beans are cooked through. Add cumin, chipotle, oregano, salt, and pepper; simmer for an additional five minutes. Remove from heat and add the tomatoes (when using fresh tomatoes, you don’t really want to cook them too long, or they’ll disintegrate and you’ll be left with little curls of red skin).
Top with cilantro before serving.