Cheesy Pork and Tomatillo Skillet

If you are looking for a sign to make a meaty, cheesy, saucy skillet dip for dinner, this is it. Great when eaten with tortilla chips but just as great scooped into a bowl and devoured with a spoon, this one-pan dish comes together in just over 30 minutes. Bright and acidic tomatillos are the star here; often sold in their papery husks, this tart fruit softens and gets sweeter as it cooks, adding freshness to the otherwise rich and oozy skillet (thank you, melty pepper Jack cheese). Pork is a natural friend to green chiles and cumin, but feel free to use any ground meat—or meat substitute—you have on hand. If the speed at which the contents of this skillet disappeared in the test kitchen is any indication, you won’t have to worry about leftovers.

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Ingredients

4 servings

1

lb. ground pork

1

tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more

1

tsp. ground cumin

1

tsp. smoked paprika

2

Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1

small red onion, thinly sliced

4

garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1

large poblano chile, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced

3

medium tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, coarsely chopped

2

4-oz. cans diced green chiles

8

oz. pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated

Cilantro leaves with tender stems and tortilla chips (for serving)

Preparation

  1. Step 1

    Place 1 lb. ground pork in a medium bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt, 1 tsp. ground cumin, and 1 tsp. smoked paprika. Using your hands, gently mix to incorporate.

    Step 2

    Heat 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Cook pork mixture, undisturbed, until browned and beginning to crisp underneath, about 3 minutes. Break up meat into ½” pieces with a wooden spoon and continue to cook, stirring often, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a small bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving fat behind; set aside.

    Step 3

    Add 1 small red onion, thinly sliced, and 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced, to same skillet; season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until onion is slightly softened and garlic is starting to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Add 1 large poblano chile, ribs and seeds removed, thinly sliced, and 3 medium tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, coarsely chopped; cook, stirring occasionally, until poblano is golden in spots, about 1 minute. Add two 4-oz. cans diced green chiles and 1 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally and scraping up any browned bits, until almost all liquid is evaporated and tomatillos are mostly softened, 7–9 minutes. Remove from heat.

    Step 4

    Heat broiler. Add reserved pork mixture to skillet and stir to combine. Top evenly with 8 oz. pepper Jack cheese, coarsely grated. Broil until cheese is melted and starting to blister in spots, about 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.

    Step 5

    Top with cilantro leaves with tender stems. Serve with tortilla chips.

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