No worries if you don’t own a clay pot, just use any other suitable pot and go for it. I used several sources to inspire me for this recipe, and we were blown away by the outcome, The thing I love the most is being able to use a cut of pork that can be a bit tricky: boneless country style ribs. This type of recipe usually calls for pork shoulder, cut in pieces. I hate dealing with it, I end up wasting a lot of meat because… I literally butcher it. In the bad sense of the word. Boneless ribs come in a neat package, I cut each in two or three pieces and that’s all. The clay pot prevents it from getting dry and stringy. Win-win situation. Try it and you won’t be disappointed.
CLAY POT PORK AND TOMATILLO BRAISE
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
3-4 lb. boneless country pork ribs, cut in pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic (optional, I omit)
1 can crushed tomatoes, fired roasted if possible (28 oz)
10 tomatillos, peeled, washed and quartered
1 Serrano pepper, chopped (seeded if you prefer less heat)
1 tsp chipotle pepper (ground)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tsp salt
water as needed
fresh cilantro to serve
Soak the clay pot in cold water.
Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a pan until very hot. Pat the pork dry, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the pork until browned on both sides. Transfer to a bowl as you continue browning all pieces. Add a little more oil to the pan, sauté the shallots and garlic (if u sing). Add the ground spices and let them sauté for 30 seconds or so, stirring constantly.
Add the tomatillos and Serrano pepper, sautee for a couple of minutes, then add the can of tomatoes, bay leaves, apple cider vinegar, and salt. Stir everything and add the pork. If needed, add water to almost cover the meat.
Transfer everything to the soaked clay pot, place in a cold oven and turn it to 375F. Cook for 2 hours and 15 minutes if your oven heats slowly (like mine does) or 2 hours in a fast-heating oven.
Serve with fresh cilantro.
to print the recipe, click here
Comments: The picture above shows how much liquid I add to start the braise. I probably needed to add slightly less than 1 cup of water. The meat turns very tender and with perfect texture for our taste. Such an easy cut of meat to work with!
Although not very traditional, hubby loves to have this pork in a Brazilian-ized way: with black beans…
You can of course use the toppings traditionally paired with chili: guacamole, crumbled Mexican cheese, a little sour cream. Whatever path you choose, I am sure this will be a favorite.
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