Slow Cooked Pork Stew with Tomatillos, Mushrooms and Potatoes
Here's another dish that uses tomatillos as its flavoring base. This time the tomatillos are added raw since the whole dish is prepared in a slow-cooker. All of the ingredients in this dish are available year around, so you can make it anytime of the year. The porcini mushrooms and tepazote add an extra dimension to the recipe, but basically it's just a great comfort food dish. Everything gets piled into the slow-cooker, you set the timer for six hours and walk away. Just add a loaf of great bread and a simple salad, and you have a fabulous meal.
1 medium white onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
1 1/4 pounds small (B size) Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, trim off excess fat, cut into large chunks (about 2 pounds after trimming)
1/3 cup (loosely packed) epazote leaves
OR 1 cup (loosely packed) cilantro leaves
1 1/4 pounds (8 to 10 medium) tomatillos, husked, rinsed and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
Roast the poblano over an open flame or 4 inches below a broiler, turning regularly until blistered and blackened all over, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes for a broiler. Cover with a kitchen towel. Let them cool until you can handle them. Rub the blackened skin off the chiles and pull out the stem and seed pod. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
Spread the onion over the bottom of a slow-cooker. Sprinkle with salt. Add half the pork, potatoes, tomatillos, and poblanos, salting each of the layers. Sprinkle on all the dried porcini mushrooms and half of the epazote (cilantro) leaves. Add the second half of the ingredients, sprinkling salt evenly over each layer. (This is the only salt in the dish, so make sure to add enough.) Cover and slow-cook for 6 hours (the dish can hold on a slow-cooker’s “keep warm” function for several hours.
Taste and season with more salt, if needed, then ladle your pork stew into warm bowls and enjoy.