Chile Verde

MexicanGluten-FreePorkTomatillo

Authentic Mexican pork chile verde! with chunks of pork shoulder slow cooked in a roasted tomatillo and jalapeno chile verde sauce. So good!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Walk into almost any taqueria in this country and you will find chile verde on the menu. The chile will likely be made with chunks of pork shoulder, slow cooked in a green chile sauce of jalapeño chiles, garlic, and tomatillos.

It’s a favorite filling for burritos and tacos, and wonderful just on its own with a bit of rice and tortillas.

Many recipes call for puréeing raw tomatillos and adding them to the pork to cook. In this recipe we roast the tomatillos first, browning their skins, to bring out more flavor.

I recently begged this recipe from my Acapulco friend, Arturo who was surprised I wanted it. “But Elise, it’s so easy, anyone can make chile verde.” Gracias, Arturo. We loved it.

Chile Verde

Walk into almost any taqueria in this country and you will find chile verde on the menu. The chile will likely be made with chunks of pork shoulder, slow cooked in a green chile sauce of jalapeño chiles, garlic, and tomatillos.

It’s a favorite filling for burritos and tacos, and wonderful just on its own with a bit of rice and tortillas.

Many recipes call for puréeing raw tomatillos and adding them to the pork to cook. In this recipe we roast the tomatillos first, browning their skins, to bring out more flavor.

I recently begged this recipe from my Acapulco friend, Arturo who was surprised I wanted it. “But Elise, it’s so easy, anyone can make chile verde.” Gracias, Arturo. We loved it.

Chile Verde

Chile Verde Recipe

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  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
  • 5 garlic cloves, not peeled
  • 2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 Anaheim or Poblano chiles (optional)
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, cleaned and chopped
  • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds pork shoulder (also called pork butt), trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1 to 2-inch cubes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp of chopped fresh oregano or 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Pinch of ground cloves

To serve:

Method

1 Roast the tomatillos, garlic: Remove papery husks from tomatillos and rinse well.

Cut in half and place cut side down, along with 5 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for about 5-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Remove from oven, let cool enough to handle.

If you want the additional flavor of chilies other than jalapenos, you can add a couple Anaheim or poblano chiles. Either use canned green chiles or roast fresh chilies over a gas flame or under the broiler until blackened all around. Let cool in a bag, remove the skin, seeds, and stem.

2 Purée tomatillos with garlic, jalapeño, cilantro: Place tomatillos, skins included, into blender. Remove the now roasted garlic cloves from their skins, add them to the blender. Add chopped Jalapeño peppers, other chilies (if you are using them), and cilantro to the blender. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed.

3 Sear pork on all sides: Season the pork cubes generously with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat and brown pork chunks well on all sides.

Work in batches so that the pork is not crowded in the pan and has a better chance to brown well. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, lift pork out of pan and place in bowl, set aside.

4 Sauté onions and garlic: Pour off excess fat, anything beyond a tablespoon, and place the onions and garlic in the same skillet and cook, stirring occasionally until limp, about 5 minutes.

5 Add pork, oregano, tomatillo sauce, stock, ground cloves: If your skillet is large enough to cook the entire batch of chile verde, with the sauce and meat, then add the pork back to the pan. If not, get a large soup pot and add the onion mixture and the pork to it. Add the oregano to the pan.

Add the tomatillo chile verde sauce to the pork and onions. Add the chicken stock (enough to cover the meat). Add a pinch of ground cloves. Add a little salt and pepper. (Not too much as the chile verde will continue to cook down and concentrate a bit.)

6 Simmer 2-3 hours: Bring to a boil and reduce to a slight simmer. Cook for 2-3 hours uncovered or until the pork is fork tender.

Adjust the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with Spanish rice and warmed flour tortillas or freshly made corn tortillas.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

Links:

Green chili from Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan

232 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Joe

    First time growing tomatillos and first time making pork chile verde from scratch using this recipe and garden fresh ingredients. It turned out absolutely perfect. Better than any restaurant I’ve tried. Blew everyone away!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Rob

    I’ve made this lots of times and it always turns out fantastic. One of the few recipes out there that I don’t feel the need to monkey with (although if I need to feed more people than expected, I’ve been known to put in a rinsed can of white hominy at the end and it works seamlessly.) Truly simple, rewarding recipe.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Paula

    I’m cooking this as we speak and the consistency if my sauce is very thin…almost like soup. Will it thicken as it cooks or is there anything I can do to help it? The taste is amazing but it’s too thin. I’m not sure what I did wrong.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Olivia

    So good!!!

  • Katherine

    I’ve made this before on the stove, but was wondering if it would work at all to make this in an Instant Pot? I know the volume of liquid would have to be reduced, but wasn’t sure if you’ve tried that at all. Would cooking under pressure also cause it to not develop the flavors as much?

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