Kel’s Perfect Pork Enchiladas with Tangy Tomatillo Sauce

Kel's pork enchiladas with tomatillo sauce

I’ve been making these pork enchiladas for years, tweaking the recipe along the way until coming up what I think is one of my favorite comfort foods ever. My original inspiration was to make a great tomatillo sauce as a base for several recipes, after devouring some of the best chili verde I’d ever eaten after a long day on the ski slopes in Vail, Colorado, many moons ago. Enter these pork enchiladas and the rest is history!

If you are unfamiliar with tomatillos, I urge you to try them. They are tangy, tart and tasty and look like small green tomatoes in husks. A common staple of Mexican cuisine, they are the basis of many green sauces for enchiladas and salsas. Choose ones that are still firm to the touch — most grocers have these in their tomato/garlic/avocado section. Beware, tomatillos are often sticky, but that washes off easily!

tomatillos

I prefer to use white corn tortillas to wrap the shredded spicy pork for the enchiladas — just make sure to warm them first to make rolling easier. Since they are fairly small, I use a spoon to hold down the enchiladas as I add them to the casserole dish so they won’t accidentally open!

Roll up tortillas and place in casserole dish

I used my Instant Pot to shorten the cooking time of the pork, but feel free to brown the seasoned pork in a dutch oven on the stovetop. Either transfer the pork and the water to a slow cooker for at least 4 hours on high, or leave the meat in the dutch oven, add the water, and simmer for several hours until the pork is fork tender.

Ingredients

Kel's Pork enchiladas with tomatillo sauce ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pounds pork roast or shoulder, cut into large cubes
  • 1 package hot taco seasoning
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced small
  • 6-7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 12 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and diced small
  • 2 cans (4 oz. each) green chiles, diced
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • 1 can (19 oz.) green chili enchilada sauce
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 15 corn tortillas (or more as needed)
  • 2½ cups Colby jack cheese, grated (sharp cheddar works well, too)
  • Green onions for garnish
  • Salsa (optional)

Preparation

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the Instant Pot. Coat the pork with the taco seasoning in a plastic bag.

Season pork in plastic bag

Brown the pork on all sides in the oil. You will need to do this in small batches.

Transfer pork to a bowl

Add the water, and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes, according to the directions for your pressure cooker. Allow to release naturally for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.

Place pork in a large bowl and shred with two forks (I like my Pampered Chef salad choppers for this step.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Shred pork with Pampered Chef salad choppers

While the pork is cooking, heat the rest of the oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for several minutes. Add the diced tomatillos, green chiles and hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saute tomatillos and peppers

Simmer for 15 minutes, until the tomatillos start becoming soft.

Tomatillos and chilis, simmered

Cool slightly and puree until smooth in a blender.

Puree simmered tomatillos and peppers

Return the tomatillo mixture to the skillet and add the enchilada sauce, cilantro and lime juice.

Add cilantro and enchilada sauce to pureed tomatillos

Slightly warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds, according to the directions on the package.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Place a couple of spoonfuls of the pork close to the center of the tortilla and roll it up to make an enchilada.

Place pork on corn tortilla

Repeat with the rest of the tortillas and place in a single layer in a large, greased casserole dish.

Kel's enchiladas ready to cook

Pour the sauce over the enchiladas.

Cover pork filled tortillas with tomatillo sauce

Top with the cheese.

Cover pork enchiladas and verde sauce with cheese

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and has just started to brown.

Kel's pork enchiladas out of the oven

Set broiler to high.

Add the green onions and place under the broiler for a minute or so, just until the cheese browns a bit more.

Broil Kel's enchiladas until brown and bubbly

Let sit for a few minutes and then spoon onto plates. Here’s a peek of the insides!

A peek insided Kel's pork enchiladas

Top with salsa and fresh cilantro if desired.

Let's eat Kel's pork enchiladas with tomatillo sauce

These go great with spicy black beans and a tomato and avocado salad, or with a black bean salad and chips.

IMG_3825

To reheat, just zap in the microwave for a minute or so.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Follow Kel’s Café on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kelscafe

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