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Food & Entertaining

PIPIAN VERDE

Author: Monica Skrautvol
Issue: January, 2008, Page 300

Serves 6 to 8

Pork
2 pounds country pork ribs
1 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
6 whole black peppercorns, ground
Kosher salt, to taste

Place the pork, onion, garlic, pepper and salt in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot and add water to barely cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, about 1 hour, and set aside when finished. While cooking, prepare sauces.

White Sauce
10 whole blanched almonds, toasted in a dry  pan 3 minutes and cooled
¼ cup sesame seeds, toasted in a dry pan 2 minutes and cooled
½ to ¾ cup pork cooking liquid (reserved from pot with pork)
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil

Place almonds, sesame seeds and liquid in a blender and purée until mixture has a smooth, creamy consistency.

Tomatillo Sauce
12 whole tomatillos, husks removed and washed under hot water
4 Serrano chiles, seeds and veins removed for less heat
½ cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ cup cilantro leaves, washed and dried
2 large romaine leaves, washed, dried and chopped
6 large epazote leaves (herb found at Mexican markets)
2 large hierba santa leaves (herb found at Mexican markets; optional)
Kosher salt, to taste

Pumpkin Seed Purée
3.5 ounces pumpkin seeds, toasted in dry pan 4 to 5 minutes (or until fragrant) and cooled
1 cup pork cooking liquid

Place in a blender and purée until smooth. Set aside.
Photo By Werner Segarra
 
Tomatillo Sauce
1. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat. To the dry pan, add tomatillos and Serrano chiles and char on all sides. Add onion and garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Place mixture in a blender and pulse a few times.
2. With the blender running, add the remaining sauce ingredients, one at a time, and purée until smooth. If the sauce gets too thick, thin with a little water. Season with salt and set aside.

Final Steps
1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil. When hot, add white sauce and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Slowly add tomatillo sauce and cook another 3 minutes, stirring continuously. Next, incorporate pumpkin seed purée and cook until oil appears on top, about 5 to 6 minutes.
3. Carefully add cooked pork and check seasoning, adding salt if desired. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook—stirring often—until the sauce thickens, about 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Place in a serving dish and serve with hot tortillas.

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