Sweet Potato Gordita with Achiote Pork Cheeks and Tomatillo Salsa Recipe | Yummly
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Sweet Potato Gordita with Achiote Pork Cheeks and Tomatillo Salsa

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Sweet Potato Gordita with Achiote Pork Cheeks and Tomatillo Salsa

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Recipe courtesy of Joanne Bondy, Executive Chef, Ciudad Restaurant (Dallas, TX)


  • 1 lb. sweet potato
  • 1/2 lb. fresh masa
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 oz. vegetable shortening (solid)
  • 5 lb. pork cheeks
  • 3 oz. achiote paste
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/4 cup key lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • banana leaves (softened)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 serrano chiles (OR 2 jalepenos)
  • 1 lb. tomatillos (husks removed)
  • 1/2 cup white onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup cilantro (chopped)
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    1. Gorditas: Bake or microwave sweet potatoes until they are soft. Peel and mash. Combine with masa, 1 tsp salt and shortening. Form into small cakes; flatten. Cook in an ungreased skillet until light brown on both sides. These can be made ahead of time and reheated in the oven.
    2. Pork Cheeks: Place pork in a resealable plastic bag; set aside. Pour 3 oz achiote paste, orange and key lime juices and 1 Tbs salt in blender container; pulse until smooth. Pour over pork; seal bag and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours. When ready to bake, place softened banana leaves (soften banana leaves by dipping them in boiling water) in a deep roasting pan. Place pork and marinade on the leaves; fold banana leaves over pork. Cover the pan with lid or foil. Bake in a 325 degree F. oven for 3 hours or until pork is tender. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes more. Skim the fat; serve meat juices with pork.
    3. Salsa: Place all ingredients except cilantro (water, 1 Tbs kosher salt, garlic, serrano chiles, tomatillos, white onion) in medium saucepan. Heat on High until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes. Drain liquid; set aside. Place remaining tomatillo mixture in blender container. Pulse until chunky, adding reserved liquid as needed. Pour into bowl; stir in cilantro. Serve with pork. Can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Makes about 3 cups. This is a very versatile and easy-to-make salsa. It can be spicy or mild and served either hot or cold.
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