Green tomatillos instead of dried chiles provide a different, spicy experience for Pozole Verde, a Mexican pork and hominy stew.
As many individual recipes exist for pozole, there are as many singular style varieties. Apart from the rojo version, rich and smokey from reconstituted dried chiles, the next most popular is the verde, a vibrant green stew made with tart tomatillos, green peppers and plenty of fresh cilantro.
Tomatillos (also known as the Mexican husk tomato or groundcherry) are a smaller green version of the native red fruit, also cultivated since antiquity. They grow within a thin papery skin (discarded) with a firmer flesh that has a lighter, brighter, less sweet flavor than a traditional tomato.
Cooked and puréed together with fresh green peppers such as poblano and jalapeño provides a verdant fresh salsa that stands starkly opposite the darker red version. It can be spicier and hotter than the dried chiles version, swapping smoke and depth for bright herbal, peppery flavor. Adding pumpkin seeds helps thicken the sauce.
The garnishes are identical: diced white onion, sliced radish, shredded cabbage with cilantro, queso fresco and Mexican oregano. Add toasted pepitas for a textural crunch, and always finish with a squeeze of fresh lime.
2 lb pork shoulder
25-oz can hominy
1 white onion
1 lb tomatillos
6 cloves of garlic
1 c pumpkin seeds
¼ t thyme
1 t cumin
½ t oregano
1 Add the pork, ½ white onion, 4 cloves of garlic, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns to a pot with 8 c of water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 2-4 hours.
2 Reserve the stock and strain out the solids (discard). Shred the meat when cool enough to handle.
3 Briefly toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet. Add them with the peppers, cilantro, tomatillos, 2 cloves of garlic and enough stock to a blender and puree until smooth.
4 Dice ½ white onion. Fry the sauce in a little oil for 5-7 min until it begins to change color. Add the stock, hominy and onion and bring back to a boil. Add the shredded pork, cumin and oregano, and simmer another 5 min.