The first time I tasted this green colored sauce was at a food stand in Puerto Vallarta. It was served in a bowl along with a couple other salsas, chilies and limes. I hesitantly dabbed a little on my taco, took a bite – smiled – then proceeded to spoon it on like gravy. I could not get enough of it and needed to find out what this delicious green stuff was.
When I asked the proprietor what it was, he said; guacamole. I was sure that it was the language barrier that had this man calling this sauce guacamole. My American voice in my head assured me that this was not guacamole, at least any guacamole I have ever had.
Needless to say, I walked away disappointed and hungry to find out how to make this sauce. I looked up the translation for guacamole and discovered that it translates into avocado sauce. That was my first clue; there must be avocados in their sauce.
When I got home I made my version of avocado sauce (which was delicious), but it was more like smooth guacamole (no tomatillos).
I had pretty much given up on figuring out how to make it when my friend Dave shared a bottle of Herdez Guacamole Salsa with me. At that time he could only get it in Mexico or on-line, which was spendy, so I assumed that this would be my last bottle and used it sparingly as a condiment on my tacos and burritos.
Yesterday my husband spotted a bottle of this wonderful salsa at our local grocer for an affordable $2.39. It would cost you that much to buy an avocado theses days. It was time to experiment. If you haven’t tried this sauce – you are truly missing out on one of the greatest salsas to ever grace a taco.
The end result was possibly the best chile verde pork I have eaten. Tender chunks of pork with creamy potatoes in a spicy green tomatillo sauce that thickened on its own with the help of the avocados. It really doesn’t get easier or better than this.
WARNING: This sauce is screaming HOT; don’t be fooled by the “MEDIUM” on the label. However, when cooked, it mellows out into a well balanced sauce with just the right amount of kick.
My notes to you…
MEAT - The best cut to buy for this dish is what is usually labeled “Carnitas”(at least at my store) – this cut makes the best stew or soup meat and is well marbled and doesn’t have too much extra fat to trim off when you get home. It gets tender and stays juicy after the long cooking process. Other choices are pork butt or shoulder and boneless country ribs. All of those will have a lot more fat to trim off, but will work well.
You could use chicken thighs for this dish. The cooking time would be about 40 min.
POTATOES – the best potatoes to use for this dish are russets, because they will soak up the sauce well. – Either; cube the potatoes and add them in the last 20 minutes of cooking or (this is what I usually do) Boil potatoes on the side and add them when I’m ready to serve.
TO SERVE – I serve this in a bow layered in this order; RICE, POTATOES, PORK & SAUCE with a generous sprinkle of cheddar cheese.
Guacamole Salsa Stew
2 - 3 pounds pork carnitas meat
1 large onion, chopped small
2 cups Herdez Guacamole Salsa, medium (1 bottle)
1 cup water
2-3 russet potatoes, cubed
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
shredded cheddar cheese for garnish
Cut pork into bite size pieces. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
Heat a large skillet over med-high heat and brown pork. Add onions and cook until onions are soft.
Pour guacamole salsa and water over the meat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover; simmer for 1 hour or until meat is tender.
See note above for potatoes – a must in this dish!