Puerco en Salsa Verde is a popular Mexican dish full of succulent pork and beautiful, fresh and spicy flavors. It's so delicious -- everyone will be licking their plates clean!
Inspiration for this Puerco en Salsa Verde recipe
My recipe inspiration comes from a myriad of places, including magazines, the seasons, what I see in the market or my mood. What I love the most though, is when it comes from unexpected conversations.
My son goes to Tae Kwon Do class a few times a week, and I've met all sorts of lovely people at there. Recently I've been talking food with a dad of another boy in my son's class -- he's from Michoacán, Mexico.
His English is quite good, but he's kind enough to speak only in Spanish with me. I appreciate the practice because it's the most Spanish I've spoken since I lived in Spain in the early 90's. 🙂
He was telling me about his favorite, authentic Mexican dishes, and was the most enthusiastic when it came to Puerco en Salsa Verde.
He told me that he loves the simplicity of it -- the very few, but very vibrant ingredients, and the easy preparation.
What's in the Puerco en Salsa Verde?
Tomatillos, jalapeños, onion, garlic, cilantro and pork. That's it!
Making the Salsa Verde
He said that while of course one could use a food processor or blender for the Salsa Verde recipe, the flavor would be far superior if it was made with a molcajete and tejolote, a Mexican, granite mortar and pestle.
I loved that he shared all of these details with me. In my mind, I was already cooking it.While this super nice dad was telling me how to create this deliciousness, I took detailed notes on the back of an old receipt I had in my purse. Unfortunately I couldn't find it when I was ready to cook. 😕
So I'm not sure I made this exactly as he might have, but this Puerco en Salsa Verde turned out to be absolutely fantastic. The kind of delicious where I could hardly keep my hands off of it before serving it to my family.
The ingredients are so beautiful, so fresh, and so rich with flavor! Add to that, a bit of the char flavor from the grill, and it's over the top!
Tips for Making Puerco en Salsa Verde
- You should adjust the amount of jalapeños you use to your liking. This depends on the amount of heat you want. I tend to use more of them, and remove more seeds, which is where a good portion of the heat is.
- It's fun to make the salsa the authentic way, but to save time use a food processor or blender. It will still be delicious.
I choose to use a pork tenderloin, though it seems a more traditional choice is pork butt or shoulder.
I wanted a quick cooking time, and the tenderloin never disappoints! Enjoy every last bite!
Here are a few more delicious Mexican recipes:
- Ancho Chile Enchilada Sauce
- Best Vegetarian Enchiladas
- Shrimp Tomatillo Ceviche
- Five-Minute Mexican Blackened Salmon
- Roasted Tomato Poblano Salsa
Puerco en Salsa Verde Recipe
- olive oil for grilling and for the sauté pan
- 4 tomatillos, husks removed and cut in half
- 2 to 3 (approximately 3-inch) jalapeño peppers, washed and dried (see notes)
- 1 cup yellow onion, peeled, cut into large wedges
- 5 medium-large garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, washed and dried
- 1 (approximately 1½-pound) pork tenderloin
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat a stove-top or outdoor grill.
- Drizzle the tomatillo halves, whole jalapeños, onion wedges and garlic cloves lightly with olive oil. Once the grill is very hot add these ingredients. You should hear a sizzle when they hit the grill -- if you don't, it's not hot enough yet. Remove the ingredients when they're nicely charred and soft-- this will not be all at the same time, and will take about 15 minutes. Place them on a large plate as you go.
- Once everything is grilled, cut the stems off the jalapeños, and slice them into smaller pieces, removing the seeds if less heat is preferred. (I usually leave a bit less than ¼ of the seeds, but this is a personal preference.) Cut the tiny root end off the garlic cloves, as well.
- If you have a mortar (the larger, the better), add the grilled ingredients and the cilantro in small batches, and mash them with the pestle until it's the consistency you desire -- I like it somewhere between saucy and chunky. You can season the salsa to taste with salt and pepper if you want to. (I didn't find it necessary, but just in case, here's How to Season to Taste.) Set the salsa aside. (Please feel free to use a food processor or blender if you would rather, or if you don't have the mortar and pestle -- it'll still be fantastic!)
- Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces and heat a large sauté pan over high heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil, and season all sides of the pork pieces with salt and pepper. Once the pan is very hot, add the pork. Again, if you don't hear a sizzling sound, the pan isn't hot enough yet. Sauté the pork just until it's cooked through and is browning a bit, about 7 minutes.
- Pour the Salsa Verde over the pork, mix and serve!
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This looks absolutely amazing!! Saving & sharing!
Thanks so much, Gwen! 🙂
What a gorgeous dish! I love all these flavors and spices. This looks so perfect for the summer--all those grilled veggies. Yum!
Love it for summer! Thanks!
Bintu | Recipes from a Pantry
I'm all about anything with Mexican flavors! Adding this to the menu this month!
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did. 🙂
Fabulous recipe for the season of grilling! The salsa verde is sublime!
I just love grilling season -- this is a good one. 🙂 Thank you!
That you for for sharing this recipe . I am making it now. So easy and simply.
Thanks so much, Doris. I hope you love it! 🙂 ~Valentina
Sam | Ahead of Thyme
Yum! This looks delicious! I should have made it for dinner tonight!!
Thanks, Sam! 😀
Mica @ Let's Taco Bout It Blog
This recipe looks absolutely stunning. I am addicted to tomatillos! Love your blog!
Thank you so much for visiting. Hope you try it! 🙂
What a fresh looking recipe! The ingredients all look so good. I bet this would be amazing over rice!
Yes, perfect over rice -- to soak up an salsa that's left in the plate. 🙂 Thanks!
Beautiful, just beautiful! The food, the light.... everything!
Thank you so much, Elizabeth! 🙂
This sounds wonderful, Mexican food is new to me but am planning on making an assault on my lack of knowledge this summer.
Awesome, Brian. I love all the spicy peppers in the summer -- it's the perfect time to make things like this.
Mark, Compass & Fork
I made a recipe a few days back using tomatillos for the first time. I loved them and vowed to use them more often. And now I have come across your dish. It looks fabulous. Nice that you were able to get some advice from someone in the know.
Thanks so much, Mark! I really like tomatillos also -- and I have definitely been ignoring them for too long. Hoping to use them more regularly now. 🙂 Thanks & enjoy!
Sam | Ahead of Thyme
This looks so yummy! Saving to make later!
This looks awesome! I will definitely have to try this one out!
For other healthy and affordable recipes, follow @Paleo4Pennies on Instagram!
Will do, and thank you! 🙂
Judy @My Well Seasoned Life
Valentina this looks absolutely fantastic. Some of the best recipes combine ease and flavor, and this one does so. I love pork so this will be on a table in my kitchen soon.
Good thing you took notes in your head as well as on paper. GREG
Yes!!! (He told me I only made one mistake -- he said he cooks the pork with a little water . . . ) 🙂
This looks incredibly good. I love the idea of grilling all the ingredients – it must bring out so much flavor! Can't wait to try it…
David, I love grilling the salsa ingredients because I love the added char flavor. 🙂 Enjoy!
I just made this recipe, I added a pinch of ground cumin and julienned onions and it is amazing!!! It's a recipe worth sharing!!! Thank you.
Hi Sonia, you've made my day! 🙂 So happy you enjoyed the recipe! Now I'm in the mood for it.
David @ Spiced
I'm the same way, Valentina! I love recipes that just come up in random conversations. And you know what? Those are often the best recipes! Plus, the story behind them is fun, too. I had to hop over to find this recipe as I was super intrigued. Sounds delicious! Putting this one on the menu here! 🙂
So cool you came to check out this recipe, David. I agree, they are often the best recipes -- those that unexpectedly come up in conversation. I was so inspired by the conversation that led to this recipe. 🙂 And I was intrigued by your Pork Chile Verde and can't wait to try it.