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We’re starting the holiday season! From Day of the Dead to Three Kings Day, any day is perfect for making a tasty Mexican holiday dish. This Pork Loin in Black Chile Sauce goes way back in mi familia and will surprise and delight yours.
This recipe post was made possible by Smithfield® and DimeMedia. My comments, opinions, and love for holiday dishes are my own.
Not too long ago, someone asked me if there were a typical menu for Day of the Dead. I thought for just a minute and my answer was something close to this. “One of the beautiful things about Day of the Dead is it’s very personal. There is no set menu, because each family will likely prepare the favorite dishes of the loved ones they’ve lost.”
Many dishes make me think of my abuelita (grandma), for instance, but this is one I would especially consider making in honor of her for Day of the Dead, because I have such vivid memories of her making it and I know how much she savored it.
I’d watch as she stood in her apron in front of a large cazuela, frying the meat and preparing the dark salsa. Then we would sit down at the table together to enjoy it with rice, beans and warm tortillas. How delicious! That’s why today I want to share it with you.
The Black Chile is a type of dried chile chilaca (originally, a dark green) that has a deep flavor, but isn’t spicy hot. Some families prepare it with tomato, but I like to make it with tomatillos and vinegar.
RELATED POST: Green Salsa
Whichever way you choose, without question, one of my favorite ways to feature black chile sauce is with pork. For this version, I looked for a boneless pork loin from Smithfield. I like it because it’s always fresh and tender, and it’s very easy to slice.
What are your favorite Day of the Dead dishes?
Pork Loin in Black Chile Sauce
Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour and 15 minutes
For the meat
- 4 lb Smithfield® Boneless Pork Loin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 white onion
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
For the Sauce
- 1 lb tomatillos
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 cups water
- 4-6 black chiles (likely labeled, chiles negros)
- 3 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- The leaves of 3 fresh thyme sprigs
Cut the pork into 1 inch cubes.
Heat oil at the bottom of a pressure cooker. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a normal pot, but adjust the cook time because it will take a little longer.
Slowly sear the cubes of pork in the heated oil, it doesn’t have to be fully cooked at this point, it only needs to change color from pink to a light brown.
Add garlic, onion, water and salt to the pressure cooker. Cover and follow the instructions for the proper use of your pressure cooker. My pressure cooker takes about 15 minutes once the rocking valve at the top starts to rock.
Now peel, wash, and cut the tomatillos in half, and peel and cut the onion in quarters.
In a medium size pan, combine the tomatillos, onion, garlic, and enough water to cover. Cook over high heat. When the water boils, lower the temperature and let simmer for 5-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the seeds and stems from the black chiles.
When the tomatillos are cooked, turn off the heat. Then, using a spoon, submerge the chiles in the hot water with the tomatillos, cover, and let rest for 15 minutes. Check from time to time to be sure the chiles stay submerged.
Pour the tomatillos, garlic, onion, cooked black chiles and all but 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid in a blender. Add thyme, salt, and vinegar and blend until completely incorporated.
In a large pan, heat the oil and pour in the salsa from the blender. Add in the pork from the pressure cooker and cook together for an additional 5-8 minutes.
Serve with rice.
For generations, Smithfield has proudly offered the highest-quality pork to families. I invite you to visit SaborSmithfield.com for delicious recipe ideas. And follow #SaborSmithfield on social media to see more delicious dishes for the holidays.