2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (“country ribs” work well for this)
3 tablespoons bacon fat or vegetable oil
1- 1/4 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
1 large poblano pepper, roasted and peeled
1 – 2 jalapenos, roasted and peeled
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 large clove garlic, smashed or minced
8 – 12 ounces amber beer
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 cup minced cilantro (optional)
If not using country ribs, slice pork shoulder into strips 1 to 2 inches across. Bring meat to room temperature and salt on all sides.
Preheat the broiler on high, with rack in highest position. Place the tomatillos on a sheet pan with a rim and slide under the broiler for 5 – 8 minutes, or until they’re blackened in spots. Turn over and blacken the other side. Remove and let cool slightly.
In a food processor or blender, puree the tomatillos, poblano and jalapenos. Set aside.
Heat fat or oil in a large dutch oven or other oven-proof pan over medium high heat. Brown the meat, taking care not to crowd the pan; if necessary, work in batches. When meat is browned on all sides, remove to a plate or sheet pan.
There should be a thin coating of fat left in the pan. If you have more, pour off the excess; if you have less, add a little more. Add the onions, stirring until they soften and begin to turn light brown. Add the garlic and cook for a couple minutes more. Add about 8 ounces of the beer and bring to a boil, making sure to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until reduced by about half. Stir in the tomatillo mixture and bring to a simmer.
Return the meat pieces to the pan. The tomatillo liquid should cover the meat about two-thirds of the way; if necessary, add the rest of the beer. Cover and place in a 275 degree oven. Cook for 60 to 90 minutes, or until meat is fork tender.
(If you have a pressure cooker, you can speed up the cooking process. Place the browned meat and tomatillo mixture in the pressure cooker and lock the lid into place. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes and let the pressure release naturally for 12 to 15 minutes. Carefully remove the lid. Continue with the recipe.)
Remove the meat from the sauce. Let cool slightly and then cut into chunks or shred.
Degrease and reduce the sauce if necessary. Add cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt and the cilantro if using. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Return meat to sauce and serve over rice or as a taco filling.