Baked Pork Panko Chile Relleno

This savory, smoky, low-carb meal, is Keto friendly while being packed with vegetables. End-to-end, the recipe takes about 3 hours to make, but my crew says it's worth it. The day of serving cooking can be reduced by having the shredded pork, peppers, and roasted garlic prepared in advance.


Ingredients

Shredded Pork:

1 pound cubed Pork Stew/Pork Shoulder

1 1/2 teaspoons Alea Salt (or coarse Kosher Salt)

2 teaspoons Liquid Smoke

1/2 cup Water


Peppers & Stuffing Mix:

1 bulb Garlic

3 Tablespoon Olive Oil

8 small to medium Poblano Peppers -or- 4 Green Bell Peppers -or- any combination of the two

1 5oz container Baby Spinach

1 8oz container Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced

1/2 cup chopped Onion

1 8oz container Whole Milk Cottage Cheese, liquid strained


PepperTopping:

1/2 cup Pork Panko

1/4 cup finely shredded Cheese, any sort you like will work, we like smoked cheddar.

Red Sauce:

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

2 Tablespoons ground Cumin

3 cloves Garlic minced/crushed

1 28oz can Crushed Tomatoes

1 teaspoon Mexican Oregano

1 teaspoon Kosher Sea Salt

1/2 teaspoon ground White Pepper


Prepare

  • Preheat the oven to 350.

FOR THE PORK:

  • Add pork, salt, liquid smoke and water to an Instapot.

  • Cook on high pressure for 1 hour.

  • Allow pressure to naturally release for 20 minutes.

  • Strain pork and shred


FOR THE FILLING REMAINDER:

  • As soon as you start the pork in the Instapot, cut off the top of the bulb of garlic, set on foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, close foil around the bulb and roast in the 350 degree oven for 1 hour.

  • Blanche spinach in boiling water for about 10 seconds and immediately transfer to an ice bath.

  • Drain spinach and wrap tightly in a towel to extract as much water as possible.

  • Ball up spinach and slice.

  • In a pan heat 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat.

  • Add mushrooms and onions. Sauté for about 15-20 minutes until soft, lightly brown and liquid has been evaporated off.

  • Once the garlic has roasted for an hour remove from oven and open foil to allow to cool. Once cool enough to handle remove roasted garlic cloves. They will be very soft and do not need to me cut up.


FOR THE PEPPERS:

  • Roast peppers over a flame or under the broiler in your oven until the skins are blackened. Turning peppers often for a uniform roast.

  • Wrap blackened peppers while hot in a wet towel.

  • When cool enough to handle, rub and rinse away blackened skins. If there are some charred bits left behind, it's not a problem, it adds flavor.

  • Dry peppers thoroughly. For Poblano peppers, slice along the top side and clean pepper seeds out. For Bell Peppers, cut in half and clean out seeds and excess membrane.


TO ASSEMBLE:

  • Mix together filling: pork, spinach, roasted garlic, onion-mushroom mixture and cottage cheese.

  • Place peppers on a parchment lined baking sheet and stuff each pepper with filling. There will be about 2oz of filling for each pepper.

  • Mix together pork panko and cheese and top the open side of the peppers over the stuffing.

  • Run toothpicks through the peppers for baking. You can skip the toothpicks, but the peppers will flatten as they bake.

  • Place in oven and bake for 1 hour.


PREPARE SAUCE:

  • Heat olive oil in a sauce pot over medium heat.

  • Add cumin and garlic to olive oil and cook stirring until fragrant.

  • Add in remaining ingredients: crushed tomatoes, oregano, pepper, salt.

  • Once sauce begins to bubble turn heat down to low.

  • If sauce begins to look dry, you can add a bit of water and cut the heat.



PLATE PEPPERS:

  • Ladle a generous portion of sauce onto a plate and add 1-2 roasted peppers on top.

NOTE: If not eating low carb, this goes well with warmed flour tortillas.


Makes 4-8 portions