Meat, Poultry, Pork

Pork a la Mexicana | Print |
(16 votes, average 4.00 out of 5)

I can say little more about this flexible, reliable, iconic, eponymous Mexican dish than “make it a staple in your kitchen.”   Roasted chiles, ripe tomatoes, tender seared pork and aromatic herbs.  A perfect balance of spicy, tangy, sweet and meaty, with enough fragrance to fill the house. I love to eat it with fried black beans, though white rice  is good, too.  

Serves 4

  • 2 large fresh poblano chiles
  • 1 to 1 ¼ pound pork tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped or crushed through a garlic press
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice (preferably fire-roasted), drained
  • ¾ cup beef broth OR 2/3 cup water with 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 large branch epazote OR ½ cup (loosely packed) coarsely chopped cilantro
  1. Roast the peppers over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, 5 minutes for an open flame, 10 minutes for the broiler.  Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, let cool until handleable.
  2. While the chiles are cooling, pat the meat dry on paper towels; sprinkle liberally with salt.  Heat the oil a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle the meat with salt.  When the oil is hot, add the meat and cook in an uncrowded single layer, stirring and turning regularly, until browned all over, about 4 minutes.  With a slotted spoon, remove to a plate, leaving behind as much oil behind as possible.
  3. Rub the blackened skin off the chiles and pull out the stem and seed pod.  Rinse the chile flesh to remove bits of skin and seeds.  Cut into ¼-inch strips.
  4. Return the skillet to medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until browned but still crunchy, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and chile strips, stir until fragrant, then pour in the drained tomatoes, broth (or water-Worcestershire combo) and epazote (save the cilantro for the very end).  Bring to a boil and let cook until lightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Add the meat to the pan (and cilantro, if that’s what you’re using).  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer briskly until the pork is cooked through—I like it still a touch rosy inside, which usually takes about 5 minutes of simmering.
  5. Taste and season with salt, usually about 1 teaspoon. Remove the epazote from the pan and you’re ready to serve.