Chile Verde

VideoMexicanPorkTomatillo

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.

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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.

Chile Verde

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.

How to make chile verde (video)

Chile Verde Recipe

  • Cook time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds tomatillos
  • 5 garlic cloves, not peeled
  • 2 jalapeños, 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
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons 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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Green chili from Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan

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.

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402 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Brian

    This is my go to chili verde recipe. I use wild boar.

    Like others have mentioned I too add a touch of cumin. I also add a touch of coriander powder (Yes, I know cilantro is the fresh stuff) it just adds another layer.

    Where I really deviate from the recipe is I smoke the cubed pork over a pan containing the veggies, for the added flavorof any meat dripping, using oak pellets in my Green Mountain Grill.

    The last little adjustment to mine is the addition of a can of hominy into the slow cooker.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    Show Replies (1)
  2. frankie

    Delicious! I added a thoroughly rinsed can of yellow posole at the end and some cumin!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Jennifer Barry

    This recipe is a keeper! The only thing I would change is to add a little bit of cumin. Just a little.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. Michael

    I use more poblano’s. Canned tomatillo’s work well also. Oven or grill roast the peppers for 20-30 minutes prior. More flavor and they breakdown quicker. I also brine and then smoke the seasoned pork shoulder/butt for 10 hours prior. Add’s a nice smoky sweetness. I also added Cumin to the sauce. Incredible on a flour tortilla with sour cream and guac. or over a cilantro rice with a dollop of sour cream.

  5. Chip

    This has been my goto as soon as frost hits, for at least four years now. THANK YOU WE LOVE IT ! (It’s simmering right now)

    xxxxxyyyyy

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