Tomatillo Chile with Pork – A version of Chile Verde

If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where you can afford the luxury of being a Mexican Food, food snob, you’ve had conversations about who had or has The Best. Does Del Palmar have the best Chile Colorado, or is it Trevino’s? Today, I believe it would be Trevino’s. Looking for the best papusas in Richmond? The debate is still going on to this day. However, if you’re looking for the best chile verde? There’s only one place to be, Meathenge.

This last weekend Chilebrown mentioned he was going to make chile verde using a smoked pork shoulder he brought back from Oregon. Aw man, I didn’t want to be left out and it was grinding me. Chile verde is one of my all time favorites for a very fresh, bright and rich pork chile. It’s so darned easy to make too. Sure some of the prep is a bit tedious, but it’s not too critical as long as you simmer it long and slow. Heck, I made up the ingredients in my head as I was at the grocery store early Saturday morning. I didn’t have my recipe I used last time as a reference, but I got darned close.
You’ll need:
4 pounds pork shoulder
1 large white onions
6 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon cumin more or less
4 medium poblano chiles, seeded and chopped
2 Jalapenos or chipotle or any combo of any of those
2 Quarts chicken broth or enough to mostly fill your dutch oven
2 – 3 pounds fresh tomatillos, husks removed
Here at the beginning it gets kinda busy. You’ll be doing about 3 things here at the same time. So, get your hand towels and maybe a timer handy, clean working spaces, 2 or 3 cutting boards ready, at least 2 good sized kitchen knives. In other words, get your meez in tight and organized.

You’ll want to char the skins of your poblanos for max flavors, find an open flame somewhere. Start a fire in your back yard if you have to, get it? Once they’re blackened, toss in to a paper or cloth sack for 10 minutes.
While you’re roasting the peppers, take the husks off the tomatillos & wash. Pat them dry and stick in roaster pan, install in hot broiler until blackened a bit. Each broiler is different, mine could be considered a nuclear fire smelter oven. I set my timer to 5 minutes, so I don’t forget and ruin the only tomatillos I have.

The aromas you receive are wonderful from start to finish and all along the way. Except maybe for the charred poblano skins, that ain’t so awesome.
While the peppers are roasting and the tomatillos are broiling, pull out your pork shoulder and cube it up, 1″ cubes please. Variation is good, I don’t like things too homogenous. So, if some are small or larger, it don’t matter. Add a TBLS of oil to a large hot skillet and brown up your pork, it’ll probably take two waves to get it done.
Add the minced garlic to the end of the meat’s cooking cycle, set aside. Saute the chopped onions until just barely brown and add to meat. Check tomatillos, when collapsed and blackened a bit add them to your resting meatses or whiz in a blender if you only have a few hours to simmer. Remember to pour in the juices from the roasting pan, hey.
Your poblanos are probably done by now. I used a butter knife to scrape off the blackened skin then slice in to 1/2″ pieces. I believe rinsing the peppers under the water removes some flavor, so no rinse for Biggles. It’s up to you though, I’ve done it both ways and the water helps a lot.
Prepare your hot chiles, slice open, out go the seeds, remove veins (if you like the heat reduced a bit) and mince up nicely. I used some of my own smoked chile peppers that I had stashed. I found something that Chilebrown gave me too. I believe the blend is of African decent, something he picked up from Tierra Vegetables a while back. It’s a sun dried tomato blend with chile peppers that had been smoked, VERY nice addition here. Although, probably not all that traditional. After perusing their web site a bit I wasn’t able to come up with the name or product, dang.

At this point add in the cumin, s&p. Get this warmed up over medium heat before you add the broth. I do this mostly just to play with the stew or chile. Use your spoon to move it around. Does there seem to be enough poblano? Or hot chile peppers? Not that there’s much we could do, but you want to see if the amounts are harmonious. If it meets your scrutinage, it’s time for the broth. See, I’m a big fan of gravy and sauce. This means I’ll tend to go heavy on the fat and or broth and I end up add enough broth to more than cover the ingredients. And in this case, probably about 1.5 to 2″ over. If I was going to simmer this for only an hour or two, I’d add far less. Move pot to back burner set to low, lid on cattywompus so steam can escape. Stir occasionally until done, 3 to 5 hours. It’s done when the broth is thick how you like it and the flavor makes your toes curl.

Here we are, dinner time with the world’s best damned chile verde you could possibly want. I ate most of mine with a huge wooden spoon out of a bowl garnished with minced cilantro and cheese. Green chile love discovered first hand, nothing finer. Are you going to try some?

43 thoughts on “Tomatillo Chile with Pork – A version of Chile Verde

  1. If you put it like that, GAWD I miss California. Chili verde, half the ingredients aren’t here – and aren’t alive and well if they would get here. I’m a freshness snob. But there’s hope… I’m going to do some pepper growin this summer in Occitania adn solve this entire problem. Your images have my mouth watering… going to electrocute myself or ruin my compu, so g’bye.

  2. “I ate most of mine with a huge wooden spoon out of a bowl garnished with minced cilantro and cheese.”
    Nah. I bet you ate most of yours with a huge wooden spoon out of a bowl garnished with standing-up-in-the-kitchen, the heck with tables and chairs.

  3. Hey Pragmatic,
    Not for the most part, no. It’d been simmering all day and I couldn’t wait to toast the tortillas, initially.
    Tortillas are for leftovers or when you have half a mind left.

  4. Hey Cookie,
    Heh, you know me better than you thought. Yup, kitchen all the way. No time to slow for chairs or tortillas, too good.
    AW MAN, you just missed it. I’ll have to make another batch.

  5. thank you so much for the inspiration: my version became a crossover of your recipe and Bayless’ tomatillo-braised pork ribs:
    2lb of smoked pork shoulder and 1lb of baby ribs;
    charred poblanos, tomatillos, whole garlic cloves;
    chipotles and their soaking liquid;
    some chicken stock;
    watercress was added at the table to be just slightly wilted.

  6. Hey Helena,
    Excellent! Good job and I think Bayliss is a wonderful chef. I enjoy pretty much all he presents. Thanks for stopping by and never hesitate to leave a comment.

  7. Thank heaven for Meathenge! My Mexican co-workers gave me the basic ingredients, but I still needed a bit more guidance.
    I’m serving my first Chili Verde tonight (to very good friends). I’ll keep you posted!

  8. Hey Evilena,
    Dang, you got me blushing. I’m very happy to hear Meathenge was able to get you through.
    Remember, chile verde is really a basic chile/stew situation. Once you get the basic ratios down, you can add/subtract and play. Use smoked pork butt, use nopales, it’s up to you! Heck, I’ve used smoked chile peppers on a regular basis!
    YOU GO !!!

  9. Smoked pork shoulder from Oregon? WHERE? I line in Portland and it seems pretty homogenous here. PLEASE – where? Where? Where?

  10. Hi – I cooked this for 4 hours or so last night and heated it up tonight. It was fantastic! I’m originally from California and it’s hard to find good Mexican food here – now I can make my own!! Thanks so much!

  11. Just want to check in via Chowhound to say I tried your recipe and it is fantastic. I’ve always taken shortcuts but nevermore. Thanks!
    You can get smoked pork at PJ’s in Nevada City and also if you are doing an I-5 run to the PNW, turn off at Orland, and drive just about 5 blocks east past the old downtown (Walker St, or Hiway 32). Andy’s Butcher Block meat market on the left in a small strip mall.

  12. Hey Sue,
    Yeah, for this and pot roast and similar meals, shortcuts really don’t give you the results you’re looking for. Eh. Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Looks like a great green chili and I plan to try it. Unfortunately I am technologically impaired and can’t get the entire recipe to print. do you have a printable version?

  14. I’ve made this recipe 4 times so far. This is my favorite and it turns out better each time (I add more heat each time)! I have started serving it with brown rice, black beans, advocado, salsa, and even grilled plantains if I have them. -Yum!

  15. Hey Jeff,
    Well, that’s great news and thank you! Great, now I have a hankerin’ and will have to make a batch.

  16. Made this yesterday. It was a big hit. Served with rice and beans in and outside of burritos. Family loved it. Only had two poblanos in the garden so I used Anaheims to make up the difference. Seemed to work nicely. Tried to add some heat by using more Jalapenos, but it was still pretty mild, which agreed with most at the table, but I like to spice things up a little more. I also had some sun-dried Romas from last season – they added a little color if nothing else.

  17. Hey Gomer,
    YEAH !!! Well, as you know chile pepper heat can wildly swing depending a few factors. Try some serranos next time and see what happens. Or add some pepper flakes, just not sure what that’d do for the texture and presentation. Good news !!!

  18. Hi
    Just checking out other recipes for the chili verde. Your recipe looks similar to what Im making. I made a big batch from all the chiles and tomatillos out of my garden. The smell is intoxicating!! I love it! Got it simmering right now and plan to add grilled chicken to it. I would much rather have the pork, but I dont have any in the fridge. Yours looks great! Have a good day!

  19. Hey Lorri,
    Use what you got! And good thinking on the grilling, that will really put a nice touch on it. Chilebrown of Mad Meat Genius smokes a pork butt for his!

  20. Hi Again
    I was reading your blog about Chilebrown doing the smoked pork butt. That would definitly be a nice touch for the flavor. I have so many tomatillos & peppers, that Im roasting and freezing a bunch. The next time I make the verde though, Im going to smoke a butt for it. Im getting ready to do a party, and will use my La Caja China for the pork. Might even have some left over to make a pork chili verde. That would be nice!

  21. Hey Lorri,
    Am assuming you have the smoking attachment for the box?
    I bought their large box back when google only showed 2 places on the net that talked about it. It was great, but no smoky flavors and to be honest, it was just darned big for my parties.
    In fact, one of the posts I did with the box here on Meathenge is one of my largest (most comments).

  22. Hi Biggles
    I dont have the attachment for my box. But I do have several smokers that I plan to use. The LCC will be for just plain ol pork. No smoke, just roasted goodness!
    I remember your post about the LCC. It was huge!! I even sent you a question about the cooking times. I had just gotten mine and tried to find info on the internet. Nothing but your site and one other site… and the other was in spanish. I only way I learned was trial and error. Thankfully only a few minor errors. (and one charred weber kettle handle from sitting the top charcoal tray on it.Dummy me…its wood!) I did find a cookbook that talks about the LCC but not alot.

  23. Hey Lorri,
    Ya know, I was writing that and figured you’d probably left a few comments there. It’s really too bad that there isn’t a more comprehensive guide to that darned thing. Buying 4 turkeys at a time to just “test it out” really gets expensive! Luckily for me, I have enough past failures under my belt and was able to pull through with some really great results. I wish I’d researched the cost of a whole 80 pound pig before I bought it. Ah well, typical for me.
    Oh, keep your eyes peeled. I just got confirmation that I’m getting the NEW Masterbilt home deep fried turkey machine for review! No really, I’m so excited!

  24. Biggles
    Not sure if you’re joking or not…are you really excited about the turkey machine or are you being funny? lol Ok I just checked them out online. They look interesting. Im a gadget-aholic so any kind of kitchen appliance gets me excited! I will keep watching for your review. Great….Im probably going to want one now. Whats one more toy…right? lol
    I enjoy your blog. Lots of info and entertainment.

  25. Hay,
    Joking about what specifically? I don’t enjoy having yet another dedicated machine in my TINY kitchen, no ma’am. But to be able to deep fry a turkey without much of the hassle? Sure, I’ve got the burner, pot and kit so I could do it the “traditional” method. Mostly I haven’t done that because I LOVE my gravy, I want to be able to roast my turkey and get my traditional gravy. But if someone wants to send me a deep fry machine for turkeys for review? I’m all over that. Will have to have a deep fry party where everyone brings something to deep fry! Game hens, chickens, vegetables, count me in. I can hardly wait, it sounds like great fun to me.

  26. Hi B
    Just had to report back on the chicken chili verde. I topped it with a nice handful of shredded cheese and a little sour cream. Yummm it Was very good and spicy! My nose is still running.
    And regarding your turkey fry machine, I cant wait to hear your review. It does sound like a pretty convenient machine. Except for the gravy part. That I would miss too.
    Wish you lived closer. I would bring the turkey for your party! Have a good evening.

  27. Biggles:
    Did you drain the fat that rendered after browning the pork or add it to the chili? I am making a very similar chili tomorrow for my brother’s annual chili cookoff. I am using anaheim, hungarian, & michigan cubanell peppers and roasting everything, including the garlic & onions. Please let me know. Thanks.

  28. Hey Lance,
    Been thinking on it. Not usually, no. To make the pork bite sized, you need to trim it down. And during that process you generally trim off the bulk of the fat. So, when you brown the meat, there isn’t a heck of a lot of fat there anyway.
    Remember, the fat in the chili is a flavor delivery system. When you put that spoonful of chili in your mouth, it’s the fat that will bring all the flavors to every portion of your mouth. This is one of the reasons using chicken just can’t stand up to the pork version.
    Also keep in mind, that while it’s simmering, you can skim the excess fat off the top. When you serve the chili, you don’t want large pools of fat on top. But you do want enough to make the flavors go.

  29. I made this for a campout this weekend!
    Just tried a bowl for breakfast, yum!!
    What do you think of serving with hot white rice?

  30. Yo, Biggles…. awesome recipe, man, real close to how we did it in New Mex.
    If you want something starchy and filling in with the chile, add 1/2 to 1 can of drained whole hominy during the simmer stage. Other folks add diced potatoes, but, I prefer the “posole” version.
    Also, fresh Hatch green chiles can be subbed in for the poblanos when they’re in season (remove the seeds once they’re roasted, unless you like heat). If you can’t find spicy peppers like serranos or jalepenos, add some hot dried red pepper flakes. Just don’t go overboard – you want to be able to taste how everything comes together, and too much heat will ruin the harmony, yah?
    Try topping with grated queso seco (or if you can’t find Mexican cheeses where you live, use a mild Feta).

  31. I just made a very like version of this chili, only difference being quantities since I’m a “looker cooker” (I measure by look as I cook) and added in some red sweet bell pepper and a cubano pepper since they were “use ’em or lose ’em”… and would work well with the other ingredients….and I found this recipe as I did a google search on the produce I bought today. Pork, poblano and tomatillo. I’ve made chili verde before, but wanted to kick it around a bit with the poblanos and found this page.
    I just have to say I’m on a porkalicious trip to flavor town!
    Adding in the chicken stock and simmering with the lid “Cattywampus” made all the difference. I have all the flavors infused now with a reduced flavoricious chili, which at first was a soup.