Smoked + Braised Tomatillo Pork with Pickled Chiles

Discussion in 'Pork' started by snorkelinggirl, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've decided that I love combining my favorite method of cooking (braising) with my other favorite method of cooking (smoking).  Many thanks to dls1, Moikel, and Chef JimmyJ for inspiration and technical support on the smoke + braise process.

    This weekend I adapted a Rick Bayless recipe (Tomatillo Pork Braise with Pickled Chiles) to use a couple of hours of smoking first, and then finish by braising. 

    I actually started this recipe last weekend, because it calls for pickled jalapenos. Since it is the peak of the season for local peppers, I thought it would be fun to can my own pickled hot peppers and then use those for making this recipe.  I just followed the recipe for Pickled Hot Peppers from the Ball Blue Book, and ended up with 5 pints of these to get me through the winter....

    Whew!  Is it hot in here, or is it just me? [​IMG]

    Then this morning, I took a 2 lb deboned pork butt and cut it into 2" sections.  I seasoned these with salt and pepper, and smoked them at 180 deg F for about 2 hours using a mix of oak and orange pellets.  I didn't smoke the pork to any particular IT, I just wanted to give it some good smoke flavor and not render off any fat.  While the pork was smoking, I chopped up 1 1/2 lbs of husked and rinsed tomatillos, 3 garlic cloves, about 1/3 cup of seeded pickled hot peppers, and a handful of chopped cilantro.

    On top of the vegetables I put the smoked pork. Nice color on it from the smoker.

    I sprinkled around 1 Tbsp of worcestershire sauce over the pork, then covered tightly and braised in a 300 oven for about 2 1/2 hours until the pork was fork tender. I flipped the pork pieces over a few times while braising. You could also do this in a slow cooker on high, just go for longer. Amazing how much liquid those tomatillos put out. 

    After the pork was tender, I pulled it out of the braising dish and set it aside. I pureed the braising liquid with some extra cilantro using an immersion blender.  I combined chunks of the pork with 2 cans of Great Northern beans, and then added enough braising liquid to give it a good texture.  I only used about 1/2 of the braising liquid, I thought it would be too liquidy if I had added more. 

    Here is a closeup of the finished dish along with a little more cilantro.  I'm going to let it rest overnight to meld the flavors, and will serve it tomorrow night for dinner. 

    The flavor profile is very good...smokey, meaty, tart, spicy....quite complex.  Those who like spicy food would probably want more pickled hot peppers in there, but they can always be added as a condiment when serving. Two hours of smoke on the pork provides a good level of smoke flavor for my taste.  I haven't tried this recipe as written (without the smoking step), but the smoking adds some flavor depth that I think the dish really benefits from.  Thank you to Rick Bayless for a tasty recipe!

    Thank you for looking at my post!  I hope that everybody has a great Labor Day Weekend!

    smoking b likes this.
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That looks pretty impressive. Nice job!

  3. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    That looks delicious, Clarissa!  Thanks for sharing...[​IMG]

  4. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I love it[​IMG]Is it Mexican influenced? Tomatillos not big here. My late Canadian mother was big on pickling things gone out of fashion here. Easy to get things because the seasons have got blurred thanks to greenhouses & improved transport from our tropical north. Love the beans  part of it. 
  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So did you pick those peppers to pickle?
  6. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you so much, Todd!  Hope you have a great Labor Day Weekend, and fun with your own smoking projects!

    Thank you for the compliments and checking out my post, Red!  Hope the rest of your weekend is great!!

  7. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Mick,

    Rick Bayless is a Chicago-based chef who is known for his authentic Mexican cuisine and recipes. We have a big Latino population in our area, so I was able to use locally-grown tomatillos, peppers, garlic, cilantro from our Farmer's Market.  This is a great time of year!    I've really gotten into pickling and canning in the last couple of years, but this was the first time I've pickled hot peppers....I bet they'll be good on nachos!    We don't eat beans very often any more....the recipe came with a variation for using root vegetables instead of the beans, but when I gave my husband the choice his vote was for the beans.  I'm hoping that with a day of rest they will soak up the smoke flavor from the pork.  

    Have a great rest of your weekend!  Looking forward to seeing the pig smoke results!

  8. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I picked a peck of pickled peppers!

    Nah, just kidding. [​IMG]

    I bought a few pounds of jalapenos, serranos, and banana peppers from the Farmer's Market last weekend.  They look pretty in my cupboard now. 

    Have a great rest of your weekend, and thanks for checking out my post, Foam!!

  9. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Jeeze girl! Your hubby is one lucky SOB.... ;) fantastic looking meal. Very hearty but at the same time... really "fresh" with the cilantro and tomatillos. .. toss the tomatillos in the smoker next time as well.. they take on a great flavor too.. ;]
    Gonna try this ... now I need to learn to pickle things... so many things to learn.. not enough time ;)
  10. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    Clarissa - That's absolutely beautiful. Looks like you knocked it out of the park and are going to have an outstanding dish dinner this evening.

    Great job, and thanks for the post and pictures.
  11. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Mike,

    Thanks so much for checking out my post and for the compliments!!   Talking about learning new would you recommend smoking tomatillos??   Halved or whole, what temp, and how long??   Thanks for any advice!!

    Have a great rest of your weekend!
  12. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey David,

    Thank you very much for the compliments!  And thanks again for all of your help and technical support!   I hope you have fun making your Cochinita Pibil this weekend.....I'd love to see the recipe and pictures on this if you get a chance to post it.

    Hope the rest of your weekend is great!
  13. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks great Clarissa! Looks like a great cool weather dish!
  14. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    Clarissa - Sure, you can smoke tomatillos. I've done them before for dishes such as the one you made, salsas, green gazpacho, etc. I typically halve and smoke them cut side down at 180F-190F for 60 to 90 minutes, depending upon the size. Ditto for tomatoes.
    snorkelinggirl likes this.
  15. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you, Case!  And thank you for checking out my post!

    I was thinking about maybe making some smoked tomatillo salsa while the peppers and tomatillos are still in season, freezing it, and then using that to braise the smoked pork shoulder over the winter. 

    Have a great Labor Day!!

  16. webowabo

    webowabo Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    What he said.;) I make salsa all the time with them. I throw everything in the smoker.. onions..japs..garlic and tomatillos. .extra smokey ;)
    snorkelinggirl likes this.
  17. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you for the info, David!   Would you smoke them with the cut side down directly on the grate, or would you put them in a foil pan?
  18. dls1

    dls1 Smoking Fanatic

    Clarissa - I'm happy everything worked out for you. What are serving as sides with dinner, if anything? Let us know how it comes out.

    I'm a day behind on the Pibil, so I'm making the achiote recado this afternoon. I'll marinate the prok chunks in the recado overnight then smoke tomorrow in a manner such as you did then follow by braising in the reserved recado. Everything's wrapped in banana leaves and done in an LC. I'll try to remember to take pictures to post.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, also.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013

  19. [​IMG]   [​IMG]   [​IMG]    Wow that looks like a great meal Clarissa! It will soon be cool enough for me to break out the Great Northern beans  [​IMG]   You know, I sure wish you didn't live on the other side of the country - I would love to sample some of the dishes you create  [​IMG]   Another fine job  [​IMG]   [​IMG]
  20. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hey Jeremy, thanks so much!!  I feel the same way looking at your smoked picnic and sausages for the weekend.  Some amazing meals being turned out this weekend!

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