Chicharrones en Salsa Verde

Chicharrones en Salsa Verde

By Rick Martinez, Bon Appétit

Crunchy chicharrones are ideal for soaking up bright tomatillo salsa, taking on an ultimate crispy-gone-soggy chewy texture. Every brand of chicharrones is different, sopping up more or less of the sauce, so you may need to add more or less water to achieve saucy-clingy consistency. If you can’t find tomatillos, use 4 cups chopped cored plum tomatoes (about 8 medium) to make a salsa roja instead.


Yield: 6-8 servings


Ingredients

  • 8 oz. chicharrones, broken into 1” pieces (about 6 cups), divided
  • 2 Tbsp. lard, bacon fat, or vegetable oil
  • 3 jalapeños or serrano chiles, seeds removed if desired, finely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 1 large white onion, finely chopped, divided
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, chopped
  • Refried beans (for serving)
  • 12–16 warm small corn or flour tortillas
  • Chopped cilantro and lime wedges (for serving)


Recipe Preparation

  • Place 2 oz. (1½ cups) chicharrones in a medium resealable freezer bag and seal bag, pushing out air (or, you can wrap up in a clean kitchen towel). Using a heavy skillet or rolling pin, crush into pea-size pieces; set aside for serving.
  • Heat a dry large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high. Toast remaining 6 oz. (4½ cups) chicharrones in skillet, tossing occasionally, until lightly charred on several sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  • Combine lard, jalapeños, garlic, and 1 cup onion in same skillet over medium-high heat; season with pepper and 1½ tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and lightly golden, 6–8 minutes. Add tomatillos, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatillos are softened and start to lose their shape, about 5 minutes. Add toasted chicharrones and 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick (it should be the consistency of ragù), 15–18 minutes. Taste and season chicharrones en salsa with more salt if needed.
  • Spread refried beans over tortillas and top with chicharrones en salsa, cilantro, remaining onion, and reserved crushed chicharrones. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing over.

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