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Pork in Veracruz Sauce (Puntas a la Veracruzana)
Adriana Luna, who runs La Cocina de mi Mamá in Mexico City, showed us how to make puntas a la Veracruzana, a dish of sliced pork in garlicky tomato sauce that, to us, tasted both new and familiar. The term “puntas,” which translates from the Spanish as “tips,” refers to small pieces of meat; “a la Veracruzana” means in the style of Veracruz—that is, prepared with tomato, garlic, olives and capers. The sauce reflects the culinary influence of the Spanish, who arrived in 1519 in what is now the coastal state of Veracruz, on Mexican cuisine. Whereas “a la Veracruzana” typically is applied to fish, Luna used thin slices of pork loin to a delicious result—the mild, lean meat finds a perfect partner in the punchy, tangy-sweet sauce. We adapted her recipe, making it a simpler one-pan affair, but in the spirit of her dish, we use chopped fresh tomatoes, a healthy amount of garlic and finish the puntas with a good dose of parsley. Serve with charred tortillas or with rice and beans, and, if you like, offer pickled jalapeños on the side.
pound boneless pork loin chops (about 1 inch thick), sliced no thicker than ¼ inch on the diagonal
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
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