This is a recipe I stumbled across last year when I bought Williams Sonoma’s Soup of the Day cookbook. Prior to making this I knew what I tomatillo was but I had never worked with them but after making this stew once I now eagerly await tomatillo season!
The tomatillo looks innocent enough until you start trying to get their paper wrapper off. This is when you discover that sticky coating on the flesh underneath the paper sheath. With just a little patience the paper wrapper does come off and the sticky residue is very easy to clean up. I have to say the flavor of the tomatillo it totally worth the effort. It doesn’t look like much at first but just a little cooking and they explode with flavor. This recipe it calls for them to be roasted in the oven. This is my preferred method for getting sweetness and complexity out of any fruit or vegetable I am going to be cooking with.
Throwing this stew together is fairly easy. While you’re roasting the tomatillos you do a quick sauté of the pork, remove it, in the same pan sauté the onion and garlic. Then add the pork back in with your tomatillos, add some chicken stock, white beans, and tomatoes (I used canned tomatoes from my garden), and simmer for 1 ½ hours. I also like to make my own beans. (This is super easy in a pressure cooker.)
To accompany it I make a batch of Heston Blumenthal’s Cornbread Muffins. In his recipe he notes you can add jalapeño’s or cheddar but I decided to try both and loved it. He does call for preserved jalapeños but I didn’t have any so I sautéd them instead. I did make a batch of preserved habaneros that I am eager to try in this recipe as I think the sweet flavor of the habanero will compliment the sweet corn better.
What I really love about this recipe is that I was able to can it in a pressure canner so on those days when I just can’t bring myself to cook I have a delicious stew sitting on the shelf that’s ready to go. The cornbread muffins also freeze very well so I can just pop them in the microwave and have a delicious home cooked meal anytime.