Though the preparation can initially seem excessive, everything is done for a reason. The chiles are lightly blackened, pureed, cooked in a bit of lard, and then, finally, reduced with some chicken stock. Each step intensifies the flavor. The simple sautéed pork chop won’t know what hit him.
Pork with Pipian Sauce
- 1 medium onion peeled and cut in half
- 4 cloves garlic
- 20 small tomatillos husked and rinsed
- 1 jalapeno
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 cup hulled green pumpkin seeds
- 2 cups coarsely chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons dried epazote
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons lard
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 4 bone-in pork chops about 1/2 inch thick
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Toss the onion halves, garlic, tomatillos, and jalapenos with 1/2 cup of the oil.
- Add about half of this mixture, or as many that will fit in one layer, to the skillet.
- Cook, turning occasionally until slightly blackened on all sides.
- Repeat with the other half.
- Toss the cooked ones in a large bowl except the jalapeno, which needs to have its stem and seeds removed.
- Then add it to the bowl.
- After they cool for a little bit, blend everything up in batches.
- Transfer the pureed sauce to a large bowl and set aside.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Coat the poblano in 2 tablespoons of the oil and then set underneath the broiler.
- Cook, turning occasionally, until blackened on all sides.
- Transfer to a plastic bag and let steam for 15 minutes.
- Then remove the blackened skin, stem, and seeds.
- Roughly chop the flesh.
- Add the poblano, pumpkin seeds, cilantro, epazote, and 2 cups of the broth to the blender and puree until smooth.
- Combine with the tomatillo sauce.
- Add the lard to a large pot or dutch oven set over medium heat.
- Carefully pour in the chile mixture (it might splatter).
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour in the remaining stock and 1 tablespoon salt.
- Cook for 10 minutes.