Chile Verde

Chile Verde Recipe

Chile Verde is a dish with a somewhat spotty history. While it’s most likely based on the Mexican dish Carne De Puerco En Chile Verde (pork with green chilies), it’s taken twists and turns as it made its way across the border. At its core, this is a pork dish that’s braised for hours in green things like tomatillos and green chilies. The tangy fresh flavours of the green stuff juxtaposes the richness of the tender slow cooked pork making this a favourite at taquerías all over the South West.

Unfortunately many of them take shortcuts, using canned veggies or leaner cuts of pork. Since moving out east I’ve yet to even see it on a menu, much less have a good bowl, so I started on a quest to make the perfect Chile Verde.

I won’t lay any claim to authenticity here, but I will say that this is the best Chile Verde I’ve ever had. I know you’re probably thinking “Well of course he’s going to say that about his own recipe”, but I think my claim is justified. Here’s why:

1) Everything is either browned or roasted which gives the dish a concentrated sweet, smoky flavour. 2) I hand chop everything which makes for a nice chunky texture that you don’t get with blended preparations 3) While there’s no wrong way to make Chile Verde, for me, this strikes the perfect balance between tart, sweet, savoury and spicy.

I also made my own corn tortillas which is so simple, and the results taste so much better, there’s no reason why anyone should buy the packaged ones. You can rehydrate a big batch of Masa Harina and leave it in the fridge, pan grilling only what you need at each meal, so they are fresh.

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to make a big batch of this is what you can do with the leftovers. Shredded and stuffed into masa, it makes for a sublime tamale and as you can see from the photo above, Chile Verde con Huevos makes for an awesome breakfast.

marinate pork
2 lbs fatty pork butt cut into large chunks (2″+)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs kosher salt
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp cumin

roast
2 Anaheim chilies cut in half lengthwise
4 Serrano chilies
1.5 lbs tomatillos scored so they don’t pop
4 large cloves garlic
1 large onion cut into 12 wedges

for chile
2 C chicken broth
3 cilantro roots with about 5″ of stem attached
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Marinate the pork butt in the oil, garlic, cumin and salt for at least an hour.

Move the oven rack to the top position. Put the chiles, tomatillos, garlic and onion on a baking sheet and put under a hot broiler. Allow everything to char on top then flip and char the other side. Remove and allow to cool.

Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium heat until very hot then add the pork (no need for oil). Leave the pork undisturbed until it is golden brown. If the pan was hot enough, the pork should not stick to the pan when it is ready to flip, if it sticks, leave it there longer.

Once the pork is browned on both sides, add the chicken stock , cilantro roots and stems, oregano, cinnamon, and honey. Destem and seed the roasted peppers (leave the seeds in the Serrano chilies if you want it spicy), core the tomatillos then roughly chop all the roasted veggies and add them to the pot along with any juices on the baking sheet.

Turn down heat to medium low and partially cover the pot with a lid (leaving room for steam to escape). Simmer for 3-4 hours or until the meat falls apart when a fork is inserted. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, simmer with the lid off allowing the chile to thicken (should be about the consistency of salsa). Salt and pepper to taste and serve with warm (preferably home-made) tortillas.

  • http://www.practicallydone.com/ helen

    Wow! I don’t usually crave savoury food in the morning, especially right after having breakfast, but this makes me hungry!

  • http://www.practicallydone.com helen

    Wow! I don’t usually crave savoury food in the morning, especially right after having breakfast, but this makes me hungry!

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com/ The Duo Dishes

    Mmm, the hints of cinnamon and honey with the roasted veggies! It’s too bad all we can do is taste with our eyes…

  • http://duodishes.wordpress.com The Duo Dishes

    Mmm, the hints of cinnamon and honey with the roasted veggies! It’s too bad all we can do is taste with our eyes…

  • http://pinchmysalt.com/ Nicole

    This looks wonderful!!!

  • http://pinchmysalt.com Nicole

    This looks wonderful!!!

  • http://www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com/ Rosa

    That looks mighty tasty!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • http://www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com Rosa

    That looks mighty tasty!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • http://www.veggiebelly.com/ veggiebelly

    I love your chile verde recipe! I’m a huge a fan of both serranos and anaheim. I’m defenitely trying this :)

  • http://www.veggiebelly.com veggiebelly

    I love your chile verde recipe! I’m a huge a fan of both serranos and anaheim. I’m defenitely trying this :)

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com/ Hayley

    I’m drooling over that Chile Verde con Huevos. I love a nice egg dish. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.buffchickpea.com Hayley

    I’m drooling over that Chile Verde con Huevos. I love a nice egg dish. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    Excellent dish!

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    Excellent dish!

  • http://kirbyvonscrumptious.blogspot.com/ Kirby!

    Yum, I LOVE chile verde… I would never think to put honey in it! Thanks for the recipe.

  • http://kirbyvonscrumptious.blogspot.com Kirby!

    Yum, I LOVE chile verde… I would never think to put honey in it! Thanks for the recipe.

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    Such a wonderful creation! I’d love to see the recipe for home made tortillas.

    • marc

      There isn’t so much a recipe as much as technique (there’s really only 1 ingredient), but I’ll get around to posting it soon.

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    Such a wonderful creation! I’d love to see the recipe for home made tortillas.

    • marc

      There isn’t so much a recipe as much as technique (there’s really only 1 ingredient), but I’ll get around to posting it soon.

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    Chile verde is one of my fave dishes. We just made grilled beef tacos last night. So with a stack of tortillas left over, I am so trying this dish.

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    Chile verde is one of my fave dishes. We just made grilled beef tacos last night. So with a stack of tortillas left over, I am so trying this dish.

  • http://www.selbyfood.blogspot.com/ Selba

    What a nice name…. Chile Verde… I like how the dish looks and the sound of the name :)

  • http://www.selbyfood.blogspot.com Selba

    What a nice name…. Chile Verde… I like how the dish looks and the sound of the name :)

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com/ Elra

    Marc, this is some serious cooking. I love it and will try to make it, but I have to substitute the pork with lamb. My husband is Jewish, so he is not that keen if I cook pork at home. Lamb will be good?
    Cheers,
    Elra

    • marc

      You can try lamb, but make sure you use a cut with lots of fat otherwise it will get dry. You could also use chicken thighs

  • http://elrasbaking.blogspot.com Elra

    Marc, this is some serious cooking. I love it and will try to make it, but I have to substitute the pork with lamb. My husband is Jewish, so he is not that keen if I cook pork at home. Lamb will be good?
    Cheers,
    Elra

    • marc

      You can try lamb, but make sure you use a cut with lots of fat otherwise it will get dry. You could also use chicken thighs

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com/ [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    We did a quick and lazy/”short-cut-ty” chicken chili verde the other day and I can’t wait to try this dish with pork. The promise of chili verde with eggs is just too tempting for me. Your breakfast plate looks stunning! Perfect way to take on the day.

  • http://www.eatingclubvancouver.com [eatingclub] vancouver || js

    We did a quick and lazy/”short-cut-ty” chicken chili verde the other day and I can’t wait to try this dish with pork. The promise of chili verde with eggs is just too tempting for me. Your breakfast plate looks stunning! Perfect way to take on the day.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com/ Heather

    OHgodnomnomnom…

    I love chile verde and could wreck that plate with a stack of tortillas. The egg on top is hot secks.

  • http://voodoolily.blogspot.com Heather

    OHgodnomnomnom…

    I love chile verde and could wreck that plate with a stack of tortillas. The egg on top is hot secks.

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com/ Pigpigscorner

    The breakfast chili with egg looks amazing!! I won’t have trouble waking up everyday if I have that to look forward to!

  • http://www.pigpigscorner.com/ Pigpigscorner

    The breakfast chili with egg looks amazing!! I won’t have trouble waking up everyday if I have that to look forward to!

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com/ Jennifer

    That looks amazing. Have you ever made Arapas? It’s a South American kind of bread. I saw a few weeks ago on Throw Down with Bobby Flay. It’s also made with Masa. Your chili with the Arapas is something I will have to try. I’ll let you know how it comes out!

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com Jennifer

    That looks amazing. Have you ever made Arapas? It’s a South American kind of bread. I saw a few weeks ago on Throw Down with Bobby Flay. It’s also made with Masa. Your chili with the Arapas is something I will have to try. I’ll let you know how it comes out!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Oh great. Now I won’t be able to order it in a restaurant because I’ll be thinking about how much better it’d be made by Mr. Marc! And I don’t get tomatillos back in Manila (but, hmm… maybe here… ;)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Oh great. Now I won’t be able to order it in a restaurant because I’ll be thinking about how much better it’d be made by Mr. Marc! And I don’t get tomatillos back in Manila (but, hmm… maybe here… ;)

  • http://ohboykarencooks.blogspot.com/ Karen

    Yes! Chile Verde is right up there at the top of my favorites! I love it too with eggs for breakfast. A good chile verde burrito. I’m glad to see you used tomatillos as a lot of people make this using only green chiles.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3216727 Gabriella G. Marsch

      Gotta use the tomatillos! NUM! :D

  • http://ohboykarencooks.blogspot.com Karen

    Yes! Chile Verde is right up there at the top of my favorites! I love it too with eggs for breakfast. A good chile verde burrito. I’m glad to see you used tomatillos as a lot of people make this using only green chiles.

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  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    One of my favorite meals. It looks great!

  • http://closetcooking.blogspot.com/ Kevin

    One of my favorite meals. It looks great!

  • la Chicana

    I really like the idea of your recipe. You really seem to know your stuff. I personally wouldnt use olive oil. This is a mexican dish we use manteca (lard) and cilantro leaves plus stems.

    I wouldnt use honey either but I am sure for people who cant handle the heat that is a good idea to tone it down.

  • la Chicana

    I really like the idea of your recipe. You really seem to know your stuff. I personally wouldnt use olive oil. This is a mexican dish we use manteca (lard) and cilantro leaves plus stems.

    I wouldnt use honey either but I am sure for people who cant handle the heat that is a good idea to tone it down.

  • chichonkey

    This is a nice recipe that is simple enough to put together when the moment hits you, as long as you have access to the peppers. She can come out purdy greazy so you might consider a little leaner cut or drain off a little. Great pictures. Good job, thanks for sharing.

  • http://none chichonkey

    This is a nice recipe that is simple enough to put together when the moment hits you, as long as you have access to the peppers. She can come out purdy greazy so you might consider a little leaner cut or drain off a little. Great pictures. Good job, thanks for sharing.

  • Mike

    In New Mexico we would call this green chile stew, except I don’t think it usually has tomatillos. I’ll have to get some and try it.

  • Mike

    In New Mexico we would call this green chile stew, except I don’t think it usually has tomatillos. I’ll have to get some and try it.

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  • http://pithyandcleaver.com Maggie

    Yum.

  • Bettesnider

    How many people does this recipe serve?

  • norecipes

    It depends on the portions you serve, but it should comfortably feed 4.

  • corrie

    We tried this recipe the other night and really enjoyed the flavors. The only thing is that it turned out too salty. I think 1Tbsp of salt with the pork was what did it. We’re planning to make it again without the salt and then mix the two together, hopefully balancing out the salty-ness. Besides that the dish was really good and we will definitely make it again.

    • Anonymous

      Hi Corrie, I’m glad you enjoyed it. Did you use kosher salt? The grains of
      kosher salt are bigger, so if you use regular table salt, you need to halve
      the amount of salt.

  • nadine

    I know i’m asking for a mexican recipe so my question is can i get a mexican recipe from a mexican?

    • Amaya

      Marc is good! regardless of origin >> :( your loss

  • nadine

    Everyone who has enjoyed this recipe is not mexican i repeat not mexican. If possible post a good comment up by a real mexican that enjoyed this recipe.

    • grizelda

      yeah i noticed that to. I have a love for the mexican traditional food although I am not mexican and would love to make authentic food at home.

    • Ssuperman77

      WHAT?! Mexicans are not known for chili verde. This is a American-Mexican dish. I’ve looked for chili verde recipes in mexican cook books and cannot find them. Your comment is nonsense. Does a mexican have a tongue that can taste better for mexican food than non mexican tongue? By the way I am of hispanic who was born here, I have nothing in common with actual Mexican culture or cuisine. My ancesters are Basque and American Indian.

    • hector

      You are a moron, I repeat moron.

  • grizelda

    Just so everyone knows,
    mexicans have no recipes………..

    • lisa

      oh poor poor grizzly has know class

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3216727 Gabriella G. Marsch

        Poor Lisa doesn’t have the socioeconomic class enough to know the difference between know and no. Also, in general Mexicans do not go by recipes due to their culture and economy being destroyed during by conquering imperialists. Many of the indigenous tribes were forces into more harsh terrain where it was and still is difficult to get to many ingredients. If you train with a chef familiar with many Mexican regional “recipes” or many Mexican’s of indigenous decent, you’ll find they agree with Grizelda’s statement.

        • Rommel X

          I sure get tired of the uppity mexican comments all the time. The reason mexicans dont have recipes has nothing to do with “conquering imperialists” they are just illiterate and devoid of writing skills, due to a poor educational system. Anyway, this forum is about a food recipe, which happens to be a damn good one. Thanks for the recipe!

  • http://profiles.google.com/nathan.oberle Nathan Oberle

    I like to use country-style ribs in my chili verde. I don’t think you can ever have too much pork bone. . .

  • Mgenriquelectronics

    It called puerco en salsa verde and it is a Mexican dish.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3216727 Gabriella G. Marsch

      It is pretty much universally known that “Chile Verde” refers to pork shoulder cooked in a “green salsa”. If you order Chile Verde, you will receive pork. It will be a rarity for it to be referred to as puerco en salsa verde, though this is technically what the dish is.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/leslie.derose.5 Leslie De Rose

    Geez people! Food is Love! Get over yourselves and enjoy a good meal.

  • Ernest

    Can cilantro leaves and stems be used in place of the root?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yes, but you’ll need to add more.

  • Irma

    Can you make this recipe with chicken instead of pork

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, but be sure to use chicken thigh as breast meat will end up very dry if you cook it this long.

  • Ernest

    I made this dish a week ago, came out just beautiful. BUT it was spicy HOT!! I’ll have to cut back on the Serrano peppers this weekend. YES, I’m making it again

  • Ernest

    Ok, made chile verde again and 2 serrano peppers is the sweet…err…right heat spot, at least for me. Fantastic on homemade Arepas. Sorta like a pulled pork sammich on steroids.

  • Jessica

    I substituted a few ingredients, green tomatoes for tomatillos, unidentified peppers of similar heat found in the garden (previous owner planted but didn’t know the name in english) for the called for peppers, and it still turned out delicious! Apparently its a pretty flexible recipe – great for using early or late season garden veggies. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.lee.5492216 Michael Lee

    Loved this dish!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mike.stivers.125 Mike Stivers

    i would only like to add (forgive if someone beat me to it) that Mexican Oregano should be mentioned. It has a more suitable flavor than a Meditteranean (Italian) style, in my opinion. That being said, you may want to omit any honey.

  • kat

    I’ve made this 4 times now, I used to live in NM, the land of green Chile enchantment, and miss the great food. I love this version of Chile verde, its as if I were back in NM! Thanks for the great recipe, its fantastico!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you’ve enjoyed it!

  • Jeannette

    I just found this recipe on Pinterest, and am trying it today. I’m thinking of omitting the cinnamon and honey. I wonder, do they make the sauce especially sweet, or is it more of a background flavor kind of thing?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jeannette, the honey does not make the sauce very sweet, it’s meant to mellow out the tartness of the tomatillos as they can be very sour. As for the cinnamon, it’s a spice often used in savory Mexican dishes and is not meant to make the dish sweet.

      • Jeannette

        Thanks for the Reply! I tried it as written and WOW. So Good!!

  • Scooter

    This recipe is the BOMB! OMG so good. Made it for a party with the chicken thighs and EVERYBODY wanted the recipe. Have made it every month since!

  • tuxthelux

    well you did it again!!! Your menudo recipe blew the socks off a “menudo” know-it-all LOL…now I make it about 2 times a month and freeze what I can’t eat immediately. This chile verde is some of the best i’ve ever had/it’s now in my recipe go-to place. Hats off, Marc – you are fantastico.

  • megaman

    I made this today and it was really fantastic.

  • gjg97

    One of the best things my husband and I have ever eaten, no joke. Made a quadruple recipe last time, using the stock pot and the slow-cooker, because we can’t get enough of it. Thank you SO much for sharing this deliciousness with us.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! This is still one of my favorites too.

  • Elkman

    Made this tonight for the first time. Tasty. Added probably double the garlic and only did half the serranos and deseeded them. No heat, so next time I’ll try 3 serranos with seeds as definitely needs the heat. The cinnamon stick was perfect, gave the recipe a nice depth. Also added 6 stems with leaves as couldn’t locate roots. Going to make this again this weekend for a party. My wife hates Chile Verde and loved this dish.

  • KaylaLynn

    I made this yesterday. Marinated the meat overnight. My meat was a TINY bit dry. How would I make it more moist? Also, In restaurants its usually more green, is there a way to make it greener without losing the flavor? Otherwise it was a phenomenal dish. I made it for my boyfriend as this is one of his favorite dishes when we go out. Thanks!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi KaylaLynn, if the meat was dry, the most likely culprit is the fat content if your pork shoulder. It needs to have a lot of fat and connective tissue to keep it moist as it cooks. Not all pork shoulders are created equal, so be sure to pick out one with lots of fat, preferably marbled into the meat (as opposed to being in separate chunks). As for the color, the roasting and long cooking time will discolor the tomatillo, but these steps are important for flavor. If you want it more green you could try adding some puréed cilantro just befor serving.— Sent from Mailbox

  • Deborah

    Marc,
    OK, I have to say this is now one of my husband’s favorite meals. I cook a lot of Mexican/Latin based foods, often from my own garden grown peppers and veggies. I have cooked this recipe 5 times now, and keep a stash in the freezer for those night hubby has to heat something up. A keeper recipe for sure. THANK YOU!

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