Pork rinds are a popular food within the Mexican community. Unlike the airy, sometimes over processed version that is marketed to the American palate, chicharrón, or Mexican pork rind, tends to be rustic and slightly more substantial. Often prepared in house by the carnicero, or butcher, the quality and flavor is far superior.
This dish is a common, everyday use of chicharrón that is sure to please. Heat and texture may be adjusted to personal preference.
Chicharrón en Salsa Verde
1 lb fresh tomatillos, outer husks removed and rinsed*
3 jalapeño chiles
¼ small onion
1 large garlic clove
½ of a medium bunch of cilantro
1 Tb oil
1-2 cups water (or more to thin)
2-3 ounces of chicharrón, broken into hand-sized pieces
salt to taste (if needed at all)
*Tomatillos should be bright green in color
** For best results, use the chicharrones that can be purchased from your local Mexican grocery store.
Place tomatillos, jalapeños, and onions on a dry, cold comal, and heat to medium high heat. Roast vegetables thoroughly, turning occasionally. Some charring will occur, and as long as it is not excessive is not of concern. Place garlic and cilantro into blender bowl and then add in additional roasted vegetables. Chiles and onion will be soft when they are ready, and the tomatillos will turn from bright green to a more yellow hue. Blend the salsa well (you may need to add a little water to help it along), and set aside.
Add oil to a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and heat to medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer and slightly smoke, pour in salsa and fry for 3 minutes to season, stirring occasionally. Add water to thin salsa. Once salsa returns to a boil, add in chicharrón pieces, making sure that they are well covered with salsa. Reduce heat to low and simmer gently until the chicharrones have rehydrated and softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add additional water if necessary to thin salsa as chicharrones absorb a great deal of liquid. Check for salt. Serve with warm corn tortillas and a side of frijoles refritos and arroz blanco. Yield: 4 portions.
Chicharrón en salsa verde in Chicago:
Chicharrón en salsa verde is definitely a comida casera, meaning that it is eaten and prepared at home. It can be served as a snack on a tortilla as a quick impromptu taco, or can be served as a more hearty meal when accompanied by the traditional sides. For best results, purchase the larger pieces of chicharrón that are sold at the meat counter of your local Mexican grocery store.
For more information:
Chicharron en Salsa Verde
The Essence of Chicharrón
How to Make Fried Pork Skin in Green Sauce
More main dishes from the Chicago Mexican Food Examiner:
Guisado de Lengua en Salsa Roja
Tacos de Papa
Bisteces a la Mexicana
Tacos Dorados de Pollo
More from the Chicago Mexican Food Examiner:
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