Tomatillo pork stew
Three day weekend. Time to cook. This one is another from Gourmet Today, which I've been using more and more recently.There's no avoiding it -- the prep here is a pain in the butt. Peeling tomatillos will never be anything but a pain in the butt. Same goes for squeezing oranges. That said, none of it's real complicated. Just make sure you brown the hell out of the pork -- it's worth waiting the extra minute or two to get those suckers crisp, assuming you have decent ventilation in the kitchen. (We don't, but a box fan pointed at the fire escape usually does the trick.)
2 lb boneless pork shoulder cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1/4 cup vegetable oil
8 large cloves garlic
1 bottle of dark beer (Smuttynose Old Dog Brown Ale, oh yes)
1 1/2 cups fresh orange juice (about 5 oranges' worth)
1 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed in warm water, and quartered
1 28oz can whole tomatoes drained and chopped, juice reserved
2 large onions, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped with seeds
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Season the pork liberally with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the vegetable oil until almost smoking. Add the garlic and stir for two minutes or so. Then add the pork in batches and brown on all sides. Don't crowd the pork; if you don't give each piece of pork some space to breath, the liquid let off from the pork will build up and nothing will brown as planned. Remove each batch in turn.
Meanwhile, in a large pot combine the beer, orange juice, tomatillos and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat until the tomatillos are soft, roughly 20 minutes.
When all the pork has browned, pour off most of the oil and use what remains to soften the onions over medium heat, 8 minutes or so. When the onions are golden and soft, add the tomatillo mixture, pork, cilantro, jalapenos, and some salt and pepper and cook. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan -- there's flavor hiding down there.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally until meat is tender, about 2 hours. Add black beans and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 10 minutes. Serve with white rice and sour cream and limes.