I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, and one of my favorite regional specialties is called Carne Seca, which is a special kind of dried beef. This is used to make several delicious dishes like Machacado con Huevo, a popular breakfast dish; or Caldillo de Res, a delicious meaty soup.
Why am I talking about beef if this recipe is about pork? Well, this recipe was born out of my craving for that caldillo that I ate many times in my hometown. I live in Canada, and unfortunately, our Customs won't let any type of beef come into the country without special permits. The few times I tried to bring back some carne seca - after declaring it - it was promptly confiscated.
Imagine my frustration! When a craving hits, nothing will do until it gets satisfied and this is where the pork comes in.
The caldillos of my memories are made with finely shredded dried beef cooked in a rich broth flavored with tomatoes and chiles. A very simple dish, but full of flavor. I decided to try and re-create that dish using fresh pork instead, and let me tell you, it is delicious!
Get your hands on a nice chunk of pork shoulder and cook that until the meat is very tender. Then shred it and use that as if it were carne seca. The rest is simmering that pork in a salsa made of tomatillos, tomatoes, aromatics and chiles. The result is a very well rounded dish that will be homey and comforting on a cold winter night.
As with many Mexican dishes, the garnishes form a very important part of the recipe, and in this case, the crema and avocado, along with the fiery piquín chiles just take the dish over the top.
Make a big batch of Caldillo de Puerco and invite your friends ove