Pork Chile Verde

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Pork chile verde just means pork with green chile peppers, which I’m sure everyone knows. But there’s one other green component that’s typically in a chile verde, and that’s tomatillos. If you’ve never worked with them before, I really think you should at least make this recipe to experience the deliciousness that is a tomatillo.

Tomatillos have papery husks, and once they’re removed, they look like green tomatoes although they’re not related to tomatoes at all.
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When you buy tomatillos make sure they’re firm, not wrinkled up or rotten. They can be cooked or used raw. For me, raw tomatillo salsas are a bit on the tart side, so I use them in cooked sauces like in this chile verde.

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Here’s what I did to make this hearty pork stew with green chiles and tomatillos:

Pork Chile Verde

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed, quartered
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
Olive oil
4 pound trimmed pork butt, cut into bite-sized pieces
Black pepper
1 onion, finely chopped
3 stalks celery plus leaves, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
3 – 4 ounce cans chopped green chiles
2 bunches cilantro, rinsed, divided
3 cups broth, divided
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Sour cream, optional
Chopped cilantro, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, or 375 degrees on a roast setting.
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Place the cut up tomatillos, onion, and garlic cloves on a jelly-roll pan and sprinkle with some olive oil.
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Roast them for about 30 minutes.

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Meanwhile, heat up some olive oil in a large dutch oven on the stove over high heat. In batches, brown the pork.
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Continue with the remaining pork, adding a little more olive oil as necessary, and placing the browned pork in a large bowl; season generously with black pepper.
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When you are done with the pork, turn down the heat to medium, add the onion, celery, and green onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.


Then add the green chiles, 1 bunch of chopped cilantro, and 2 cups of broth. (I’ve even used a good Mexican beer to braise the pork, and it’s good!)

Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot, and season with oregano and cumin. Bring the mixture to a boil, then gently simmer for about 30 minutes.


Keep the pot covered with a lid if you feel there’s not enough liquid to braise the pork. Or, if you feel there’s too much liquid, leave the pot uncovered and let the liquid evaporate gently.

Place the roasted vegetables in a blender jar. Add the second bunch of cilantro, and the remaining 1 cup of broth. Blend until almost smooth.


Pour the green sauce into the pot with the meat.

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Stir well, and simmer for about 1 hour.

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Pork chile verde is a stew. It should be thick, not some cubes of pork floating in a green soup. If you need to reduce the liquid a bit, don’t hesitate to do so. It will not adversely affect the overall dish.

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I like my chile verde with a dollop of sour cream!

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I also sprinkled on a little ground pink peppercorns. You could also use some cayenne flakes.
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Chopped cilantro also adds to the freshness of the chile verde; chopped green onions can also be included.
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note: I usually make pork chile verde the day before I first serve it. Somehow, it’s just better that way.

49 thoughts on “Pork Chile Verde

  1. I actually used tomatillos for the first time about a month ago while making a green sauce! I ended up blending them raw before cooking the sauce. I like that you roasted them first- I bet that gives a wonderful depth of flavor. Something to keep in mind for the next time!

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  2. Mmmmm, I just love a good pork chile verde! Lucky for me the stores here are always well-stocked with tomatillos. I’ve never added celery to my version, but I like the idea of it. More green and a healthy vegetable addition!

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  3. Such a lovely heart-warming dish Mimi, also love the tomatillos in the pork dish, I’m sure it gave it tons of flavor and depth. I also like the idea of making it the day before as the flavors intensify. Curries are very much like that, they always taste better the following day. I know we talked about curries in your last post, I did post a Goan seafood stew this week and talked a bit about that particular part of India and how the cuisine has it’s own distinct label. Thanks for the recipe, I’ve bookmarked it, as my husband loves anything with pork :)

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  4. That’s a lovely, hearty curry with some wonderful flavours. I haven’t bought tomatillos before! I don’t think I’ve ever seen them with that papery layer that has to be removed. If I find tomatillos in the shops, I’ll be sure to make this curry xx

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  5. Mexican salsa verde is one of my favorite flavors of all time, and so very easy to pull off. Interesting technique—I usually boil the tomatillos, will have to try roasting them in the oven next time to see how it changes the taste.

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    • I’ve never boiled them! Interesting. The roasting definitely works great, especially when you can throw in onions, garlic, and maybe even some jalapenos all at the same time!

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    • They’re either under appreciated or just not readily available. It’s amazing how many people around the world haven’t been introduced to them! (based on comments I’ve gotten!)

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  6. Mimi, this dish is just gorgeous and I can imagine how fantastic it tastes. Apparently we can grow tomatillos (which WordPress likes to correct to armadillos) in Ontario. I saw them last summer at the farmers’ markets. I’ve printed this one to try.

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