In this case, salsa verde refers to the Mexican version, not the Mediterranean one. Zoe Maya features this recipe in many of her Mexican classes at Haven’s Kitchen. ZM grew up in Cancún, where she learned to use tomatillo salsa (i.e., “salsa verde”) as the liquid for braised pork shoulder. As with all braises, about three-quarters of the meat should be covered by the cooking liquid, and the pot should have a tight-fitting lid. Shred the pork for a savory filling for tacos or as an accompaniment to rice and beans. It’s a good idea to make a double batch of the salsa, so you’ll have some fresh salsa for serving.
You can make this with a smaller 4- to 5-pound cut while keeping the amounts of the braise ingredients the same. The cook time will be shorter, 3 to 4 hours.
- Yield: 4 to 6 Servings
- ONE 9-POUND BONE-IN PORK SHOULDER
- 6 GARLIC CLOVES
- ¼ CUP PLUS 2 TEASPOONS FINE SEA SALT
- 3 CUPS TOMATILLO SALSA
- 3 CUPS WATER
- 1 LARGE ONION, QUARTERED
- 2 WHOLE ANCHO CHILES
- 2 ORANGES, QUARTERED
- 1 LIME, HALVED
- 2 BAY LEAVES
- 2 TABLESPOONS CUMIN SEEDS
- 2 TABLESPOONS CORIANDER SEEDS
- LEAVES FROM ¼ BUNCH OF CILANTRO
- Temper the pork for 40 to 90 minutes and preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Using a paring knife, score the top of the pork shoulder: make six 1-inch-deep cuts across the top and push 1 garlic clove into each hole. Rub the ¼ cup salt into the meat.
- Place the pork shoulder in a large Dutch oven or roasting pan. Add the tomatillo salsa, water, onion, chiles, oranges, lime, bay leaves, cumin, and coriander. Cover tightly with the lid or seal with foil.
- Cook for 6 hours, or until the meat shreds easily with a fork.
- Remove from the oven and shred into large pieces with a fork. Season with the remaining 2 teaspoons salt and baste with the braising liquid, scooping it from the bottom of the pan and pouring it over the meat.
- Plate and garnish with cilantro.