Mexico’s ubiquitous “green salsa,” salsa verde is made with a ground cherrylike fruit called tomatillo that’s prized for its refreshing tartness (it’s available in most supermarkets). Tradition calls for the tomatillos to be roasted on a comal (flat skillet) or boiled, but you’ll get even more flavor if you grill them.
Step 1: Set up the grill for two-zone grilling. Preheat one zone to high and one zone to medium.
Step 2: When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the tomatillos and peppers on the hot grate and grill them until darkly browned, even black- ened, and blistered on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Place the onion on the grate and grill it until darkly browned and tender, about 3 minutes per side. Position the garlic over the cooler zone of the grill so it browns without burning, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the grilled vegetables to a plate.
Step 3: Seed the peppers and scrape off the charred skin; don’t worry about a few black specks of skin—they’ll add color and flavor. Remove and discard the toothpicks from the onion and garlic. Puree the tomatillos, ￼peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro in a food processor or blender until thickish but pourable (like the consistency of cream of tomato soup).
Step 4: Heat the lard or oil in a large saucepan. Add the tomatillo puree and cook over high heat until the mixture is thick, slightly darkened, and highly aromatic, 3 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the stock and let the salsa boil until it is thick and flavorful, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the sugar. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste and more sugar as necessary; the salsa verde should be highly seasoned.