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.
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