Pork Chile Verde

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.

By Published On: January 28th, 201649 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

49 Comments

  1. Nadia January 28, 2016 at 8:12 AM - Reply

    I have never seen tomatillos here in Dordogne. Do you think I could substitute something else?

    • chef mimi January 28, 2016 at 9:20 AM - Reply

      They’re easy to grow if you could find the seeds.. But there’s really no substitute.

      • Nadia January 28, 2016 at 9:21 AM

        Good to know. I will see if I can order some online.
        Merci

  2. Heather @ Sweet Precision January 28, 2016 at 8:19 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi January 28, 2016 at 9:19 AM - Reply

      Oh good! They’re so unique aren’t they?!!

  3. cookingwithauntjuju.com January 28, 2016 at 9:42 AM - Reply

    Love your recipe – I worked with tomatillos not too long ago in a Mexican cooking class at Zingerman’s Bakeshop. Lot of fun and they make a delicious sauce!

    • chef mimi January 28, 2016 at 6:33 PM - Reply

      They really do! I have a baked Brie topped with a tomatillo sauce on the blog that is to die for!!!

  4. Hungrycookie January 28, 2016 at 10:16 AM - Reply

    Looks delicious!

    • chef mimi January 29, 2016 at 9:08 AM - Reply

      Thank you! And very filling! (Sometimes I add some beans to make it less “meaty!”

  5. Ginger January 28, 2016 at 11:22 AM - Reply

    Gorgeous! Perfect for this weather … :-)

    • chef mimi January 28, 2016 at 6:33 PM - Reply

      Exactly! And it freezes well, if necessary!

  6. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso January 28, 2016 at 11:46 AM - Reply

    Such a great chili, with all these vegetables and greens! I need to look for tomatillos… :)

    • chef mimi January 28, 2016 at 6:34 PM - Reply

      Aren’t they readily available in NYC?

      • Tasty Eats Ronit Penso January 28, 2016 at 8:05 PM

        Not everywhere and in many cases they are not nice and fresh like the ones you’ve used, especially now in the winter. I will keep an eye and hope to find nice ones soon. :)

  7. anotherfoodieblogger January 28, 2016 at 11:47 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi January 28, 2016 at 4:12 PM - Reply

      Yeah, that’s all it was. Celery is optional!

  8. Loretta January 28, 2016 at 1:16 PM - Reply

    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 :)

    • chef mimi January 28, 2016 at 4:11 PM - Reply

      Yes! And curries make the best leftovers!!!

  9. Elaine @ foodbod January 29, 2016 at 3:22 AM - Reply

    So interesting about the tomatillos, I always assumed they were a type of tomato!

    • chef mimi January 29, 2016 at 8:15 AM - Reply

      No relation, and they have a unique tartness to them!

  10. StefanGourmet January 29, 2016 at 11:15 AM - Reply

    Next time I can get tomatillos (which isn’t often) I’ll make this. With less cilantro though…

    • chef mimi February 1, 2016 at 8:58 AM - Reply

      I forgot you dislike cilantro. And grapefruits!!!

      • StefanGourmet February 1, 2016 at 10:50 AM

        I’ve grown to tolerate and sometimes even like small quantities of cilantro :-)

  11. hotlyspiced January 29, 2016 at 9:45 PM - Reply

    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

    • chef mimi January 30, 2016 at 7:18 AM - Reply

      I’m really surprised tomatillos aren’t readily available in Australia. They grow as easily as tomatoes in the garden. Very interesting!

  12. kathryninthekitchen January 30, 2016 at 4:31 PM - Reply

    Again another comment re the tomatillos….I have not seen these before so will have to do some research ‘down under’. I love learning about new produce.. thank you!

    • chef mimi January 30, 2016 at 4:33 PM - Reply

      If you garden, perhaps you can find seeds? They grow as easily as tomatoes!

  13. Frank Fariello January 31, 2016 at 8:33 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi January 31, 2016 at 9:30 AM - Reply

      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!

  14. Lesley at Lola Rugula January 31, 2016 at 9:25 AM - Reply

    This looks great! I love tomatillos and have grown them now for a few years. They’re under-appreciated but I enjoy cooking with them.

    • chef mimi January 31, 2016 at 9:29 AM - Reply

      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!)

  15. Gerlinde de Broekert January 31, 2016 at 7:51 PM - Reply

    This dish will make my husband a happy camper, he loves Chile Verde.

    • chef mimi February 1, 2016 at 8:57 AM - Reply

      It is good – I prefer mine mixed with beans so it’s not just meat!!!

  16. ChgoJohn January 31, 2016 at 11:23 PM - Reply

    I’ve never cooked with tomatillos, Mimi, but I have to admit that your chile would make one tasty introduction. I’m pinning it for later use. Thanks for sharing.

    • chef mimi February 1, 2016 at 8:56 AM - Reply

      Absolutely! Hope you can get your hands on some soon – they’re quite unique. Try ringing up Rick Bayless!

  17. The Gourmet Gourmand February 1, 2016 at 7:23 PM - Reply

    OH wow, this has got me craving some tomatillos. I’m going to have to make some chile verde sometime very soon!

    • chef mimi February 3, 2016 at 10:12 PM - Reply

      I hope you can find tomatillos where you live! So many people can’t…

  18. CakePants February 1, 2016 at 10:29 PM - Reply

    My dad used to make a chili-like dish with tomatillos, but I’ve actually never cooked with them. This looks SO hearty and flavorful!

    • chef mimi February 3, 2016 at 10:11 PM - Reply

      Oh I know! There probably more available in California and in the southern states, near Mexico. If you can ever find them, they’re really unique and fun to cook with!

  19. Cocoa & Lavender February 5, 2016 at 3:36 PM - Reply

    I love chile verde with pork a- most of what we find here is made with beef. Thanks for sharing another great recipe.

    • chef mimi February 5, 2016 at 9:16 PM - Reply

      Oh, with chiles and tomatillos? Definitely pork!!!

  20. Sofia February 8, 2016 at 2:14 AM - Reply

    I didn’t know about tomatillos, thanks for introducing me! They are so pretty! I’m sure they give a great flavour to this xx

    • chef mimi February 8, 2016 at 4:13 PM - Reply

      I really hope you can find them. They’re quite unique!

  21. anna @ annamayeveryday February 9, 2016 at 5:45 AM - Reply

    Oh Mimi, this looks very good! I haven’t cooked with tomatillos but I really want to try this so I better track some down!

    • chef mimi February 9, 2016 at 12:58 PM - Reply

      They’re very unique – I hope you can find some!

  22. love in the kitchen February 10, 2016 at 4:24 PM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi February 11, 2016 at 12:34 PM - Reply

      Hahahahaha! Armadillos would be a little different of an ingredient, wouldn’t they?!!!

  23. Kimmiz Kreations April 21, 2016 at 2:01 AM - Reply

    MMMMMMM, making me hungry girl!! I’ve got a pork roast in my freezer all ready for this recipe. I can’t wait to make it this weekend. I hope you don’t mine if I re-blog this on my site…

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