My first real taste of chile verde was from Ramona’s Mexican Food in California as a kid. One of their most popular burritos is carne con papa which has chile verde in it. This is a completely different version, but with similar flavors. Back then, mom prepared her version of chile verde with shredded beef and potatoes. It’s still one of my favorites to this day. I believe it was my oldest sister, Cristela, that first prepare this chunky pork version because it was her husband’s favorite. If you have been following me for a while, you know that I have several versions of pork chile verde on site.
If You Don’t Enjoy Pork, There Is Always Other Options!
In the past, I have prepared variations of chile verde with beef, chicken, shrimp and even a vegetarian version with mushrooms and roasted poblano strips. All delicious in their own way. Besides with a freshly cooked flour or corn tortilla, chile verde is delicious in burritos, gorditas, over sunny side up eggs, and more.
So Many Peppers, So Little Time!
I often get myself in trouble by over buying food ingredients! Guilty! I cannot help myself when I see all the fresh chile peppers at the market or farmers market during the summer. Thank goodness, I have learned many, many recipes on how to use chile peppers besides the typical salsa. Freezing peppers after roasting them is ideal. Heck, you can even freeze smaller chile peppers and just take out what you need when you need. I do this often with habanero peppers and serrano peppers that are extra spicy. Dry roast, broil or use as is in your recipes. Quick pickling, escabeche, is tasty too!
I Will Confess That Some Of My Recipes Are Influenced By Mexican Food In California
The Mexican food scene varies from state to state, in my opinion. I often find myself trying to explain to my followers the difference between chile colorado and chile rojo, lol! You see, Ramona’s Mexican Food back in the day serve Pork Chile Colorado with chile ancho and they are served Beef Chile Rojo with chile California. That was how we distinguished which was pork and which was beef. Of course, technically they both look rojo and colorado, which means a shade of red, in Spanish. It doesn’t have anything to do with the state of Colorado. It can get a little confusing, lol!
What’s The Best Cut Of Pork For Chile Verde, Colorado, Carnitas and Even Pozole?
For me, the best cut is pork butt or shoulder. It really needs to have that fat through out otherwise the meat tends to dry out if it’s too lean. The butt/shoulder can hold up to longer cooking times and becomes very tender.
I Not Hiding The Fact That I Enjoy Cumin!
Mom used cumin sparingly in her Mexican cooking. It was strictly reserved for chile colorado and a few other guisados(stews). She did not add it to her rice. I use it way more than she ever did. My favorite way to enjoy it is to toast the seeds and then grind them in the molcajete. Cumin is more popular in the northern regions of Mexico, like Monterrey, where my family is from.
When Roasting Large Quantities Of Ingredients, The Broiler Is My Best Option!
Mom Would Be Shocked At The Amount Of Garlic I Use In My Mexican Cooking!
The only times I saw mom reach for the fresh garlic was when she was preparing the pork for tamales or cooking caldo(soup). She would add the whole bulb to flavor the broth. I never, ever saw her chop fresh garlic. That’s what that iconic jar of garlic powder was for in the cupboard. I have no complaints when it comes to her recipes. Always delicious.
Mom Had To Feed A Family Of Ten! Hence The Potatoes Added!
As I stated above, it was my sister that introduced us to chile verde, but mom prepared a mean asado de puerco, chile colorado. She would add fried potato chunks towards the end of the cooking time. I crave those flavors of the fried potatoes with that slow cooked ancho sauce! The Best!
Here We Go! Let’s Get To The Recipe!
- 3 1/2 lbs pork butt/shoulder sliced into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tsps. salt plus more to taste
- 2 tsps. granulated garlic
- 1 tsp pepper plus more for potatoes
- 1/2 c pork lard or avocado oil
- 5 c water
- 13 large Anaheim peppers 900 gr, stems and seeds removed
- 2 large poblano peppers 250 gr, stems and seeds removed
- 4 large jalapeños 240 gr, stems removed
- 1 large onion 300 gr
- 12 cloves of garlic 60 gr
- 8 med tomatillos 250 gr
- Handful of fresh cilantro
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. Oregano
- 2 med. Russet potatoes
- Preheat the broiler to high.
- After you wash and slice the pork, transfer it to a large bowl. In a small bowl combine the 2 tsps. of salt, 2 tsps. of granulated garlic and 1 tsp of pepper. Add seasoning to the pork and toss to combine. Set it aside.
- Remove the stems and seeds from the large peppers, Remove only the stems from the jalapeños. Place peppers on a baking sheet lined with a wire rack. On a separate baking sheet, lay the tomatillos, cut side down. Also add half of the onion sliced into thick half moons and 6 cloves of garlic with skins on. Dice the remaining onion and mince the remaining garlic. Set it aside.
- When ready, place both baking sheets under preheated broiler. Broil the peppers for 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through cooking time. Check the tomatillos, onion, and garlic after 10 minutes. You are looking for some blackening. Remove from the oven.
- Remove peppers after 15 minutes. Cover with kitchen towel and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large heavy pot, preheat 1/3 cup pork lard (or oil) at medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Sear and brown the pork, in batches, for 6 minutes each time. Transfer to a clean bowl as you brown the pork. Avoid overcrowding or the pork will just steam and not brown.
- Transfer all the browned pork back into the large pot still at medium heat. Add the reserved diced onion and minced garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes. To the pork, pour in 3 cups of water. Cover with lid ¾ of the way and continue cooking for 45 minutes or until pork is fork tender.
- While the pork cooks, remove all the blistered skins from the peppers. Slice the poblano into strips and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining peppers and transfer them to the blender. Also, to the blender, add the roasted onion, tomatillos, peeled garlic, handful of cilantro, 2 cups of water, and salt to taste. Blend on high until smooth.
- Pour sauce into the pot with the pork. Stir well to combine. When it comes to a simmer, taste salt. In the molcajete or mortar, crush the cumin seeds and oregano. Pour in ¼ c of water and stir with wooden spoon to combine. Pour this into the pot with the pork. Add the bay leaves. Cover partially and continue cooking at a steady gentle simmer for 40 minutes or until pork is fall apart tender.
- Fry the washed and cubed potatoes in ¼ cup of preheated oil at medium heat for 10 minutes or until golden on most sides. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Fold the potatoes into the pork during the last 15 minutes of cooking time. Serve chile verde with rice, beans, and warm tortillas.
wonderful loved this tasty meal great flavors. I love cumin and garlic too. Great idea roasting fry potatoes then add just another way to build those flavors
Thank you Chef Suzy! I appreciate your feedback!
riblets! yum. i think i’m being too fussy coring my tomatillos. do you bother? love your helpful pics. thanks Sonia.
I never core my tomatillos. If you have a good blender, it should be sufficient. Thank you for taking the time to comment.
I love this recipe and all the pictures showing each step I’ve made chili verde but never like this and adding the potatoes is excellent takes some of the heat out and goes a lot further. Today I made the beef stew and love it with potatoes.
Thank you Cynthia!