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Pork Chile Verde

This is a Pork chile verde recipe made of tender pieces of pork that simmer in a tasty sauce created from roasted chiles and tomatillos. We love it served over rice with a side of beans.

This was an accident. The happiest accident in 2020 and I think that deserves some kind of medal, amiright? I was setting out to make a braised pork recipe, lacked pretty much everything I needed and so I combined it with a pork recipe that’s from Brazil.

The first time I made it I only had two small pork tenderloins and so I had to use bacon as well since I was lacking the fat from a pork butt (note- you can totally sub those if you need to). It turned out awesome and although I use pork butt now I still throw in the bacon because I love how much more flavor it gives!

 

Follow Directions As Written

This is one of those heavenly dishes you’ll want to follow exactly as written, at least the first time and then serve it just as I suggest. If possible even locate the traditional farofa from Brazil as well. Our is found in little world markets here in Utah. You just pile rice, beans, chile verde and a sprinkle of farofa on top. A photo of a bowl full of large chunks of pork chile verde with a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

What’s Chile Verde?

Traditional chile verde is a Mexican dish that is like a stew with large chunks of tender pork in a sauce. The sauce is made of roasted tomatillos and chiles. It is all about the low and slow cooking for this dish so that pork gets super tender and soaks in all the flavors of the roasted vegetables.

Ingredients for Pork Chile Verde

This ingredients list is going to look long at first glance, but there are a lot of dried spices and herbs that you probably already have in the cupboard, and most of the rest you can grab in the produce section. Here is the full list:

  • Boneless Pork Butt Roast
  • Kosher Salt
  • Bacon
  • Chicken Broth
  • Water
  • Orange Juice
  • Tomatillos
  • Poblano Chiles
  • Red Onion
  • Garlic
  • Jalapeño
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Ground Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Cloves
  • Bay Leaves
  • Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.

A photo of a full spread of food. There are two bowls of pork chile verde with some folded flour tortillas on the side, whole tomatillos, a bunch of fresh cilantro, lime wedges and a poblano pepper sliced in half.

How to Make Green Chile Pork

This recipe is going to take some time to prep but you can always ask your butcher to break down the meat into 2″ pieces. That’s what I do if I remember. Here is how it should look as you break it down:

a photo of a raw pork butt cut into three large sections with one of the sections being cut into 2" chunks.

Here are the steps for making the chile verde:

  1. Toss the pork chunks with salt and place in a large bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Chop the bacon. Add fat trimmings from the pork and half the bacon into a dutch oven with the chicken broth and water. Bring it to a simmer over high heat and let it simmer until all the liquid evaporates and the trimmings sizzle.
  3. Add the rest of the bacon. Cook, stirring constantly, until a dark fond forms on the bottom of the pot and the trimmings are brown and crispy.
  4. Remove the trimmings, place the bacon on a plate, and pour off most of the fat (leaving about 2 tablespoons). Set aside.
  5. Move one of your oven racks to the lower middle position and the other rack 6 inches from the top. Line a baking sheet with foil. Now listen, this can totally be done days in advance, in fact I often double it and freeze half for later using my Food Saver.
  6. Place the tomatillos, poblanos, onion, garlic, and jalapeño on the baking sheet and drizzle with vegetable oil.
  7. Place the chiles skin side up and broil on the top rack until the chile skins are blackened and the vegetables start to soften.
  8. Move the tomatillos, onion and juices to a blender. When the peppers and garlic have cooled enough to handle, remove the skins and throw them away. Add the peppers and garlic to the blender.
  9. Add the orange juice and pulse the blender until everything is pureed.
  10. Heat the reserved 2 tablespoons of fat over medium heat. Add all the spices stirring constantly until fragrant.
  11. Add the tomatillo mixture from the blender and add all the remaining ingredients. Stir in the pork and bring to a simmer.
  12. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and move the pot to the oven and cook until the pork is tender. Stir occasionally to release anything stuck to the bottom.
  13. Remove pot from oven and remove the bay leaves.
  14. Scrape the browned bits from the sides of the pot. Stir in the cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
  15. Serve over rice and beans with lime wedges.
All of these instructions can also be found in the recipe card at the end of the post.
A photo of a bowl full of large chunks of pork chile verde with a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

HOT TIP!!!

In case you missed it above, I love to make the verde and freeze it. I double the batch, place half in a food saver bag and vacuum seal it. I cannot live without my food saver. It makes life so much easier!

Roasting Peppers

Roast peppers to get the ultimate flavor. The skins should be black, you didn’t mess up! Let them rest until touchable and then peel off as much of the skin as you’d like to. That charring is ESSENTIAL for flavor!

How to Get the Most Flavor

A few of the steps are key to packing this dish full of flavor. The smokiness comes from roasting the peppers and tomatillos. Letting the pork sit with the salt and then searing it brings all the flavor out of the pork. Of course, loads of the flavor comes from the bacon. Then letting the pork simmer for a long time will infuse the pork with all the flavors of the sauce.

A photo of a bowl full of large chunks of pork chile verde with a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

How to Serve Chile Verde

We love this served over rice. If you really want to indulge, dip some homemade tortillas in the chile verde. Yummm!

What to Eat with Chile Verde?

This recipe is so hearty, it could stand on it’s own for the complete meal, but if you are serving a crowd and want a few side dishes to go with it, here are a few ideas:

And if you need a dessert idea…tres leches cake of course!

Are Poblano Peppers the Same as Anaheim or Pasilla Peppers?

If you’re grocery store is like mine, the poblano peppers might be called pasilla peppers. Anaheim peppers are not the same thing, they pack a tiny bit more heat but are absolutely acceptable as a substitute for poblano peppers.

I for sure prefer this recipe with half and half Anaheim and poblano and the jalapeño half seeded. And you know I don’t like spicy! But just a little kick is so yum.

A photo of a bowl full of large chunks of pork chile verde with a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

Can You Freeze Pork Chile Verde?

Yes, this recipe freezes great! I have two frozen bags of it in the freezer as we speak. I just pull it out of the freezer the morning we are going to eat it and then warm it up on the stove top at dinner time.

How Long Does Chile Verde Keep?

It will keep in the fridge in an airtight contain, it will keep for up to 5 days. If you freeze it, it will be great for up to 3 months.

 

It’s the most tender pork all in a homemade chile verde sauce. You’re going to love it and everyone is going to want the recipe when you make it!

More Pork Recipes:

 

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A photo of a bowl full of large chunks of pork chile verde with a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

Pork Chile Verde

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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Resting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the Verde

  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 12 Tomatillos husks and stems removed
  • 4 Poblano Chiles stemmed, halved, and seeded *see note
  • 1 Large Red Onion cut into 8 wedges
  • 6 Garlic Cloves unpeeled
  • 1/2 Jalapeño stemmed and seeded **see note
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro minced, plus extra for serving

For the Pork

  • 4 pounds Boneless Pork Butt Roast trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-2 inch pieces
  • 6 teaspoons Kosher Salt divided 
  • 6 pieces Bacon
  • 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons Dried Oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon 
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • Pinch Ground Cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
  • Lime Wedges for serving
  • Rice and Beans for eating over the top of

Instructions

For the Verde

  • Adjust 1 oven rack to lower-middle position and second rack 6 inches from broiler element. Heat to broil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  • Place tomatillos, poblanos, onion, garlic, and jalapeño on prepared sheet and drizzle with vegetable oil. Arrange chiles skin side up and broil until chile skins are blackened and vegetables begin to soften, about 10 to 13 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling.
  • Transfer poblanos, jalapeño, and garlic to cutting board to cool a little. Turn off broiler.
  • Transfer tomatillos, onion, and any accumulated juices to a blender. When poblanos, jalapeño, and garlic are cool enough to handle, remove and discard skins and add poblanos, jalapeño, garlic and cilantro to the blender. Pulse until mixture is roughly pureed.

For the Pork

  • To trim the pork, cut the meat in 2" steaks and remove any large pieces of fat. Any small pieces of pork and fat can be used with the bacon. Now, cut the steaks into 2" strips and again into 2x2" pieces. Set aside.
  • Toss the pork pieces with 5 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile, chop the bacon coarse. Add any fat trimmings and 1/2 the bacon to a dutch oven and add the chicken broth and water. Bring to simmer over high heat. Cook, adjusting heat to maintain vigorous simmer and stirring occasionally, until all liquid evaporates and trimmings begin to sizzle, about 12 minutes.
  • Add the remaining bacon. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until dark fond forms on bottom of pot and trimmings have browned and crisped, about 6 minutes longer.
  • Using slotted spoon, discard trimmings, and place bacon on a plate. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat; set aside pot. Heat the oven to 325.
  • Heat reserved fat in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pork and brown in batches then pile it all back in the pot along with any juices.
  • Stir in orange juice tomatillo mixture, bay leaves, sugar, pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in pork and bring to simmer.
  • Cover, transfer to oven, and cook until pork is tender, about 1½ hours, stirring halfway through cooking to release anything stuck to the bottom.
  • Remove pot from oven and discard bay leaves.
  • Using heatproof rubber spatula, scrape browned bits from sides of pot. Stir in cilantro; season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve, over rice and beans with lime wedges.

Notes

* If you like a little more heat, use half anaheim and half poblano peppers.
** Leave the jalapeño half seeded for a little more spice. Yum!
Nutrition Facts
Pork Chile Verde
Amount Per Serving (1 Cup)
Calories 290 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 98mg33%
Sodium 1373mg60%
Potassium 756mg22%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 270IU5%
Vitamin C 44mg53%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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A photo of a bowl full of large chunks of pork chile verde with a spoon sticking out of the bowl.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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2 comments

  • Will be making this soon for the pork can i use mushrooms and for the bacon can i use more mushrooms as am a vegan perfect for my after office meals sorry i took a break from commening on your recipes as busy with work will dm you guys if i make this and let you guys know how it goes Thanks Ramya

    • Reply
    • Absolutely! It will have a slightly different flavor of course, but it will be delicious!

      • Reply

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