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Salsa Verde Pull Pork Enchiladas

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    Salsa Verde Pull Pork Enchiladas

    Living in the Southwest has its culinary advantages due primarily to one thing, Mexican cuisine. Although Mexican cooking can be had literally anywhere in the country, this true and vibrant cuisine has greater variety, depth and authenticity the closer you get to Mexico. Mexican cuisine here in the Southwest is more than just tacos and fajitas. It has become regionalized and morphed into what is better known as a variety of Mexican-American dishes.

    Take for instance the quintessential Tex-Mex of my state. It’s a fusion of rich Mexican traditions of the first Tejano peoples with that of American cooking. Emphasis in Tex-Mex food is on cheeses and red ripened peppers. Sauces tend to be redder in color as a result, utilizing the ripe peppers often times with tomatoes to produce a salsa rojo. Obviously it’s a much hotter sauce and is spiked with onions, garlic and cumin.

    Moving further west into New Mexico, the cuisine changes as a result of fusion with the native American Pueblos with that of the Hispanics who migrated to the region. Here the emphasis is on spices, herbs and various kinds of green peppers. Often seen in this region are the Hatch peppers, grown and prized for their unique flavor, which are much like the Anaheims further west. Key to the sauces used in Nuevo Mexicano cooking is the tomatillo. Although it has the appearance of a tomato and is in the same general family, it has a distinct flavor. Thus the sauces from this region tend to be earthier and greener resulting in a salsa verde.

    Although I tend to eat a lot of local Tex-Mex, I also cook and crave New Mexican dishes. For these enchiladas then, we’re going Nuevo with a homemade salsa verde. This versatile sauce can be used on a variety of things from chili, enchiladas, tacos and toppings for hamburgers and even fried eggs. Although it can be bought pre-made in a jar, the difference and freshness of making it from scratch puts the prepared versions to shame.

    Salsa Verde

    I try to prepare my salsas for refrigeration overnight. The flavor profiles need to meld together to get the best out of the blend. It’s relatively easy to prepare, but does take a little bit of work on the front end. The peppers used here are Anaheims and poblanos, but the variety is really up to what is available to you. Stay with the milder types, this is not a sauce that screams fire red. (Sourcing for this sauce comes courtesy of Pitmaster Club member ofelles and modified from shrinkingkitchen.com)

    Type: Versatile Sauce
    Cuisine: Mexican-American
    Makes: 4 cups
    Takes: 45 minutes of prep and 90 minutes of cooking

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons of lard
    1 onion diced
    4 cloves of garlic minced
    1 pound of tomatillos
    2 jalapeno peppers
    3-4 Anaheim and/or poblano peppers
    Juice of 1 lime
    3 cups of chicken broth
    1/2 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
    1 teaspoon of cumin
    1 teaspoon of Anaheim or regular chili powder
    1 teaspoon of kosher salt
    1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper

    Method

    1. Preheat the broiler. Place the poblano, Anaheim and jalapeno peppers onto a foil lined baking sheet. Roast, turning frequently, until skin is blackened and peppers are softened and cooked, about 15-20 minutes. Place the peppers into a folded paper bag and allow to steam for 15 minutes. (Alternatively use the same method on your open flame outdoor grill).

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    2. In a medium heavy bottomed pot, heat the lard until liquefied and add the onion. Sautee for about 3-4 minutes until soft then add garlic and continue to cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

    3. Peel the skin from the roasted peppers, allowing a bit of the char to remain. Chop into large chunks. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse and quarter. Add the peppers, tomatillos, cilantro and lime juice to a blender and blend until medium smooth. If need be add a little oil or chicken broth to help the blend.

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    4. Pour the blended mixture into the pot with the onion and garlic. Add the chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper whisking to combine. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer on low for about one hour to reduce and thicken.

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    5. Place the final mixture back into the blender or use an immersion blender to achieve a consistently smooth sauce.

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    Pulled Pork Enchiladas

    Now that we’ve made a killer sauce, let’s use it to make a dish it was born to be with, enchiladas!! Of course enchiladas are made dozens of different ways and have been adopted, once again, to suit the region you are in. Lending a barbecue theme to my recipe, I chose good old pulled pork for my stuffing. I try to cook about 10# once a month, bag it up in one pound packs and freeze it.

    These enchiladas are pure Nuevo Mexicano. They make use of the salsa verde and Mexican style white cheese (queso fresco) as the primary compliments to the pork. Now that your salsa has been made and has mellowed overnight, let’s get to cookin’ some enchiladas!!

    Course: Lunch or Dinner
    Cuisine: Mexican-American
    Makes: 4-6 servings
    Takes: 45 minutes of prep and 90 minutes of cooking

    Ingredients

    1 pound pull pork
    4 cups freshly prepared salsa verde
    2 cups of grated 4 cheese Mexican cheese blend
    2-3 cups of freshly grated Queso Fresco
    10-12 freshly made flour tortillas
    1/2 cup for chopped cilantro
    Sour cream for topping

    Method

    1. Begin by chopping your pull pork to about a 1/2” consistency. The goal is to not have large shreds of meat when cutting your bite size pieces.

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    2. Place a tortilla on your counter or work surface and take about 2-3 ounces of the pork and place it lengthwise at one end of the tortilla....

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    3. Next place about 2 tablespoons of salsa verde over the top of the pork…..

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    4. Followed by a generous helping of Mexican blend cheese. Roll the tortilla away from you, tucking and folding until you have a tight taco. In a Pyrex or metal baking dish, line up your tacos snugly. You should end up with about a dozen or so in the dish.

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    5. Pour the remaining salsa verde over the top of the tacos. Move the individual pieces around with a fork and gently work the sauce between each one. Follow that by spreading an even layer of your freshly grated Queso Fresco cheese. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top of the cheese.

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    6. Place your dish in a pre-warmed 350* oven. Cook for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and beginning to bubble. (Alternatively this could be done outside on a smoker to lend another dimension to the dish)

    7. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes and serve. I like mine with a little sour cream on top and a side of homemade guacamole.

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    LOVE ME SOME MEXICAN ....... TROUT IS OUT !!!!!
    Last edited by Troutman; May 2, 2019, 07:02 AM.

    #2
    Holy cow, does that look & sound fantastic.

    Comment


      #3
      Great post Steve!! We do a similar styled salsa verde but will give yours a go in the near future. Thanks for the share.

      Comment


        #4
        Holly Smokers !!! Man that looks good ! Thanks for sharing your recipe .

        Comment


          #5
          Loves me some salsa verde. The wife makes a good one. Definitely prefer true Hatch chiles over Anaheim. That looks amazing. I believe Mexican food is definitely my favorite. There is so much versatility and vibrance to Mexican food.

          Comment


          • Bkhuna
            Bkhuna commented
            Editing a comment
            Hatch chili's! Got a few pounds left from last seasons chili roast. I mix Hatch, Serrano, and Tomatillos as my base.

          • Troutman
            Troutman commented
            Editing a comment
            Agree, when you can get the Hatch they are the best !!!

          #6
          Loves me some salsa verde. I make Mexican food almost daily.

          Excellent writeup, pics an food, Brother!

          Comment


            #7
            Another winner going on the to cook list. Thanks for sharing. I have a question though.
            Step 3 for the salsa says
            3. Peel the skin from the roasted peppers, allowing a bit of the char to remain. Chop into large chunks. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, rinse and quarter. Add the peppers, onion, tomatillos, cilantro and lime juice to a blender and blend until medium smooth.
            Step 4 says
            4. Pour the blended mixture into the pot with the onion and garlic. Add the chicken broth, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper whisking to combine.
            Are the onions divided, with half going into the pot with the garlic and the other half going into the blender? When I make this, I want it to be Troutman perfect
            Last edited by klflowers; May 1, 2019, 04:14 PM.

            Comment


            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              Good catch, sweat the onions, they don’t go in the initial blend, you’ll catch then in the final blend. I’ll make that change, thanks !!!

            • klflowers
              klflowers commented
              Editing a comment
              You’re welcome. I was reading it closely cause I could almost taste it. Man it sounds good.

            #8
            Thanks for the mention Troutman on the sauce. Only it's ofelles not ofellas. I've used the sauce on everything including enchiladas and as a dip.

            Comment


            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              Seems I have more clean up to do

            • ofelles
              ofelles commented
              Editing a comment
              Not a problem just wanted to nip it the bud. Lot of people do that because of the way it is pronounced

            #9
            Ya got my mouth waterin' Steve...

            Comment


              #10
              Wow!

              Comment


                #11
                What a write up! Thanks for sharing this with us. Great step by step directions.

                Comment


                  #12
                  This is on the list now. Sounds amazing!

                  Comment


                    #13
                    Great write up, looks fantastic, going to give this one a go for some special occasion.
                    I'm lucky enough to have to have a relatives in Dallas, Frisco and for a time in San Antonio so I have developed a real taste for southwest cooking that I've incorporated into a lot of my cooking/smoking.
                    Love getting down there and hitting up local pits/eateries, the Riverwalk in SA is amazing, to me anyway, words don't do it justice.
                    I head to Dallas every year for the Southwest Classic, A&M/Ark, and its a food fest around the game.
                    My nephew in Frisco is quite an accomplished smoker in his own right, he does a wicked smoked brisket he's marinated in a variety of local southwest peppers.
                    Keep up the great smoking.

                    Comment


                      #14
                      Well, now I'm hungry again, and its only just past breakfast time (and almost time for a 2 hr meeting...*sigh*)

                      Comment


                        #15
                        Profound thanks from a fellow Texan. This looks to be a keeper.

                        Comment

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