• Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org
  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation
  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion
  • Updated Website Address: LocalBanquet.org

    We've changed our website. Please update your bookmarks to LocalBanquet.org LocalBanquet.org is where you will now find the latest Local Banquet stories, a new Story of the Day update feature, features from the archives, and information on how to contribute to Local Banquet if you're interested in writing about Vermont agriculture. 

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  • Looking Back on a Decade of Maple Innovation

    Back in 2007, Local Baquet ran an article by Bonnie Hudspeth on maple innovation and production in Vermont. Since then, maple production in Vermont has tripled to 1.8 million gallons a year and innovation seems to have entered a new golden (or perhaps amber) age. We did a quick maple innovation news round up for 2018 / 2019 to help everyone keep up with the some of the trends. 

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  • Listening to Farmers’ Voices in the Ecosystem Services Discussion

    In 2015, the USDA funded a project for UVM researchers to engage in discussions with Vermont farmers about the idea of being paid for ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are things farmers do that improve the environment for everyone, a common example is grass-based farms capturing carbon in the soil as a way to combat climate change. Some services happen naturally through sustainable farming, others take more of an incentive to implement, and either way some policy makers believe that farmers shoudl be compensated for their contribution. 

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Tomatillo-Braised Pork

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Tomatillo-Braised Pork

Mari’s adaptation of a Rick Bayless recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rich-tasting pork lard or olive or vegetable oil
  • 2 lbs country style ribs
  • 1 quart puréed fresh tomatillos, canned tomatillos or
  • salsa verde
  • hot peppers to taste (1-2 jalapenos or habaneros)
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • small handful of dried tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro or a bit less dried or ground coriander
  • salt

Directions

Let the meat thaw in the fridge and then come to room temperature. Dry it thoroughly, cut into chunks, and salt and pepper it. In a medium-size Dutch oven or other heavy pan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the lard or oil over medium heat. When quite hot, lay in the pork. Brown well on both sides, 5–10 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly until golden, 3–5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.

Raise the heat to medium-high, and, when really sizzling, add the tomatillo purée (or salsa verde) all at once. Stir until noticeably darker and very thick, 3–4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water, the dried tomatoes, and cilantro or coriander. Taste and season with salt, usually 1 teaspoon. Stir everything thoroughly. Cover and let it simmer on the stove or put it in the oven at 325 ºF for at least 45 minutes (can be longer for an even more tender dish with thicker sauce).

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Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply.