Thursday, January 07, 2016

Pork enchilada verde casserole

Pork enchilada verde casserole | Homesick Texan

When faced with making decisions, I’m the sort who waffles if there are too many choices. For instance, if you take me to a restaurant that I’ve never been to before, I will spend at least 20 minutes looking at the menu and agonizing over what to order. People are patient, but it’s still hard for me to settle on one thing.

With Tex-Mex, however, I always know exactly what I want. Even if I’m at a place I've never visited, there are certain items that will always get my approval. Enchiladas verdes is one of them, as are tacos al carbon, chile con queso, and a loaded combination plate that is stacked with every single Tex-Mex greatest hit.

When I was growing up in Houston, there was a restaurant that specialized in enchiladas verdes stuffed with pork instead of the usual chicken or cheese. The sauce was rich and tangy from green chiles and tomatillos, and each enchilada was topped with a blanket of melted Monterey Jack and sour cream.



These enchiladas verdes have been calling my name the past few days. After a week of eating leftover black-eyed peas and collard greens (mind you, I’m not complaining) I figured that I’d been virtuous enough for the beginning of a new year. That said, instead of taking the time to make traditional rolled enchiladas, I opted for a quicker route and threw everything into a casserole instead.

For the sauce, I roasted some poblano chiles, jalapeños, garlic, and tomatillos under my broiler. This made quick and easy work of making everything soft and I like the extra flavor that came from charring the tomatillos and garlic. As for the pork, I braised some pork shoulder for a couple of hours, then shredded the meat when it was tender. The meat was flavorful enough as there had been garlic and lime juice in the cooking liquid, but I also stirred in some of the poblano salsa verde for an extra boost.

Assembling the casserole takes little effort, as I simply layered the pork and salsa with corn tortillas, cheese, and some diced red onions and cilantro for an additional pop. As the casserole bakes, the ingredients fuse into a cheesy, tangy dish, which has all of the pleasures of enchiladas without any of the fuss. Likewise, to save time, both the pork and the salsa verde can be made a couple of days before. Or if you prefer, the whole casserole can even be made in advance, as it reheats quite well.

Pork enchilada verde casserole | Homesick Texan

Right now I’m still trying to decide my plans for the new year. For instance, I've been thinking about a new cookbook (and if there are any particular recipes you'd like to see, please let me know). Though on one thing I'm certain—this pork enchilada verde casserole is a new favorite dish of mine. And if you love the combination of salsa verde, pork, cheese, and tortillas it will become a favorite dish of yours, too.

Pork enchilada verde casserole


Ingredientss for the poblano salsa verde:
3 poblano chiles
2 jalapeño chiles
1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredientss for the casserole:
2 pounds pork butt, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 medium red onion (about 1/4 cup), diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for serving
Sour cream, for serving

Instructions:
To make the poblano salsa verde, turn on the broiler and place a rack 5 inches away from heating element. Line a cast-iron skillet or baking sheet with foil and place the poblano chiles, jalapeños, tomatillos, and garlic on the skillet. Cook under the broiler for 5 minutes, and then remove the skillet from the oven. Remove the garlic from the skillet and place into a blender. Turn over the poblano chiles, jalapeños, and tomatillos, and return the skillet to the oven.

Continue to broil the chiles and tomatillos for 5 to 7 more minutes or until they are nicely charred. After this time, remove the skillet from the oven. Place the tomatillos in the blender, and put the chiles into a paper sack or plastic food-storage bag, close it tight and let the chiles steam for 20 minutes.

Pour the 1/2 cup of water into the foil-lined skillet, swirl it around, and then pour this into the blender.

After the chiles have steamed, remove from the bag and rub off the skin. Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and add them to the blender, along with the cilantro. Blend until smooth. You should have about 3 cups of salsa. Stir in the salt, taste and add more salt if you like.

Meanwhile, to cook the pork, place it in a Dutch oven and barely cover with water. Add the garlic, lime juice, and salt, bring the pot to a boil, and then turn the heat down to low and simmer uncovered for 2-2 1/2 hours or until the meat is fork tender.

Once the meat is done, remove it from the pot and place into a wide mixing-bowl. With 2 forks, shred the meat and stir in 2 tablespoons of the cooking liquid (reserving the rest for another use, if you like) and 1/4 cup of the poblano salsa verde. Taste and add salt if needed. (Both the pork and salsa verde can be made ahead of time and kept refrigerated for 3 days.)

To make the casserole, preheat the oven to 375°F.

In a skillet, heat up the vegetable oil on low heat. One at a time, heat up the tortillas in the skilet until soft and pliant. After cooking, wrap in a cloth to keep warm. (It’s fine if you want to skip this step but note that the tortillas may get super soggy when they bake.)

To assemble the casserole, ladle 1/2 cup of the poblano salsa verde into a 9-inch square pan or a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Place 4 of the tortillas in the pan, tearing in pieces to fill in any gaps.

Evenly top the tortillas with half the pork, 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack, half the diced red onions, half the chopped cilantro, and 1/2 cup of the salsa. Top that layer with 4 more tortillas and then add the rest of the pork, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the rest of the onions, cilantro, and 1/2 cup of the salsa.

For the final layer, top with the remaining 4 tortillas. Evenly pour over them the rest of the salsa and then top evenly with the rest of the cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the casserole is lightly browned and bubbling. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm topped with sour cream and cilantro.


Yield:
8 servings

Author:


HOMESICKTEXAN.COM

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30 comments:

anotherfoodieblogger said...

HELLO??? Can you say YES on both the cookbook and the recipe?? I just made your Carne Guisada two days ago (again for the Nth time) and happily finished up the leftovers today. And yes, I ate an entire week's worth of black-eyed peas with jalapeno and bacon all myself, because the fam doesn't care for them that much. (Their loss, right?) :) I'll think on the recipe thing...

Sara from Texas said...

Hi Lisa - This recipe looks great! Here's my dilemma. I love all "green" Tex Mex recipes, however I live in Croatia where tomatillos aren't available. Is there any suitable replacement for these that would allow me to still make a "green-ish" version of enchiladas like green tomatoes for example, or am I just out of luck?

halindrome said...

What would you think of doing the pork via sous vide instead of in the dutch oven? I am always looking for excuses to use my sous vide cooker.

Mike Bierschenk (Optional Kitchen) said...

This looks absolutely scrumptious, and reminds me of eating pork chile verde with my husband's family in Colorado. I'll definitely be trying this soon!

Baker Babe said...

A new cookbook, please do. I would like to see a bunch of different hot sauces. A dream of mine is to get the green sauce recipe from Mamacitas chain restaurant here in Texas. You can never have too many hot sauce recipes. A section on mini Tex Mex meals would be great, sort of like the tapas thing. Oh yes, more techniques on making Tex Mex food, for instance, how to make the perfect fried potatoes for a potato & egg taco. My problem is just not being able to duplicate that true Tex Mex flavor found in restaurants, too gringo even though I am using the same ingredients. There are thousands of recipes floating around, but I truly suspect many of the techniques are missing that brings out the real taste. By the way, love your cookbooks & look forward to your emails. I live in Sisterdale, down the road from Lukenbach & sadly it's hard to find good Mexican food. This recipe will hit the spot, anything pork in the wintertime is good!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Anotherfoodieblogger--Sounds like you've been eating well! And that's too bad your family doesn't like black-eyed peas--they don't know what they're missing!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Sara--If you can't get tomatillos, I can't think of a direct substitution. My advice is to order canned ones from mexgrocer.co.uk or one of the European Amazon sites--whichever one ships to you. Or have someone send you some from the US. I've used canned ones in the winter and they work well. Otherwise, you can use regular red tomatoes, but the flavor will be different, as you know.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Halindrome--I've never used a sous vide machine, so I don't have any idea! But please try it and let us know how it works!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Mike--Yes! They do love their green chiles in Colorado!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Baker Babe--Thank you for all the great ideas!

Kathi said...

Making this this weekend! I was planning on making your carnitas, but this is calling my name :)

As far as "new" recipes...your sausage kolache recipe needs to be in a cookbook :)

Karel Chaloupka said...

which restaurant from in Houston?

Emily Nelson said...

This should definitely be an entry in your next book... Fingers crossed on both! I would say any and everything that is on your blog that isn't already in one of your other books, as everything is fantastic!

Shelly J said...

This recipe looks fantastic! I will be trying it. I live in Houston and would love to know the name of the restaurant that inspired your recipe if you don't mind sharing.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Kathi--Enjoy!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Karel and Shelly J.--The restaurant was called Amalia's and sadly it's closed now.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Emily--Thanks for the feedback! I definitely think this recipe would fit in my next book!

Lisa C said...

Holy Canolli! This dish just rocked my house! Authentic marvelous flavors! I'd add a photo for proof! Delicious!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Lisa C--So glad you enjoyed it!

Amy Carrizosa said...

Making this recipe as I type and the best compliment I received was from my 16 year old; "Mom, this smells so good! Just like Grandma's house! It feels like love!" His Grandma is from Sonora Mexico and I am of Norwegian descent! Needless to say, we are all looking forward to dinner tonight!

Pam said...

Ha! I feel your pain with the menu indecision! This is one great casserole that I have to make. Thanks for sharing!

lisa2221 said...

Love this website tho I've haven't made anything yet. One day I will make the Carne Guisada. I have some recipe suggestions: vegetable soup, great northern bean soup. Also large lima (butter) beans, broccoli-rice casserole, fried squash, fajita nachos, fried pork chops and gravy. For dessert blondies fudge or cheesecake with graham cracker-chopped pecan crust. Have a great time in Maui!

rcspott said...

When you say 10" cast iron skillet, is that measured from lip to lip or the inside of the pan.

Thanks

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Amy--Saying it smells like grandma's cooking is high praise!

Pam--I'm glad I'm not alone!

Lisa--Those are excellent suggestions--thank you!

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

rcspott--I measure lip to lip.

Carolyn T said...

This casserole was fantastic, Lisa. I made it last week. I made the salsa verde, but I cheated and stopped at my local Mexican restaurant and bought 3/4 pound of their carnitas, and used that in the layers. I also dolloped a little tiny bit of sour cream in the layers also. Oh my goodness, was this ever good. It would make a great dinner for a small crowd, and truly, once you make the sauce, it's so easy to put it all together. Thanks for such a great recipe.

Bonne said...

At some point a while back, I thought it would be really neat if you shared with us your knowledge of preserving, canning, and freezing food. In my mind, it seems like a way to pass along your grandparents' knowledge to a wider audience.

Thanks for what you do, I love it all.

Lisa Fain (Homesick Texan) said...

Carolyn--I'm so glad you enjoyed it and I love the addition of more sour cream!

Bonne--What a great idea!

Unknown said...

Just like you Lisa, I have no menu hesitation when trying a new Tex-Mex joint. Enchiladas Verde is always the first thing I try and is the sole determining factor as to whether a second visit will ever occur. Although I am a native Texan and long-time Houston resident, I spent most of my teen and pre-teen years in Colorado. Pork Chili Verde was a family favorite that my mother made 2 or 3 times a month. When I started cooking on my own, eventually, I stumbled on the idea these combining these two flavor profiles (on my own I imagined at the time) and have been preparing pork Enchiladas Verde at home for 15 or 20 years now. And now that I am moving to the Jasper Tx. area, only 30 miles from La., I am thinking of a way to combine the Enchilada I love so much with the Gumbo that is so popular here. Particularly, the duck gumbo that is so popular with the hunting families in this area where duck is sometimes referred to as the "rib-eye of the sky".

Christine said...

Just made this with ground beef instead of pork. It was yummy! The salsa really makes this dish-my first time cooking with tomatillos. Thanks!

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