Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Pork Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili) – Green and Sometimes Browned

As I mentioned in the intro, this chili verde was one of the first recipes I ever learned, and also one of the first times I was forced to question proper culinary technique. Having just learned the importance of browning meats in culinary school, I was, at the same time, working for a chef who rarely did. 

Whether it was pork, chicken, or beef, he simply cut up the meat, threw it in a pot with the rest of the ingredients, and simmered everything until tender. By the way, he claimed that he had learned how to cook these recipes while traveling through Mexico. I remember sheepishly asking about this, and his response was something like, “Well, that's how they did it, and it tastes good to me.” He was right, it did. 

In fact, it tasted great. It was then I realized that this whole cooking thing might be a little more complicated than I had imagined. So, which is really the best method? There’s no answer for that question, which is frustrating. Having said that, I do think browned meat is always going to add extra flavor, so I usually do it. The point is, everybody’s right.

Regarding the pickled red onions I used on top of my chili: I was going to save this for a video, but it’s so ultra simple that I’ll just tell you right now. Slice some red onions, add a pinch of salt, and cover with red wine vinegar. Leave this overnight in your fridge, and the next day you’ll be looking at one of the most gorgeous garnishes ever.

They’re wonderful with everything from salads, to charcuterie, to cheeseburgers; but my real hope is that you enjoy them on a bowl of this delicious green pork chili. I really hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 large portions:
2 tbsp vegetable oil (heat to almost smoking before browning meat)
2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (aka pork butt), cut into 2-inch cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 to 3 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
about 10-12 tomatillos (about 4 cups once quartered)
3 jalapenos, seeded
1 poblano chili, seeded
6 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
2 1/2 cups chicken stock, or as needed
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 pound Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
freshly ground black pepper
sour cream and pickled red onions to garnish

- Simmer pork and sauce for an hour, add potatoes, and simmer until everything is tender.

47 comments:

Thomas said...

Im very sure that i cannot find tomatillos where i live. What can it be replaced with?

Chef John said...

You can find canned online. Otherwise, I don't know anything similar.

Nate Thomas said...

I like to add one habanero per half of a red onion when i pickle them. Kicks up the heat a little and habaneros actually have a really nice flavor that permeates the onions. I am making this stew to take to work for lunch! Looks amazing... now show us your Chile Colorado!!

Farah Rafeek Khan said...

If I used beef instead of pork, would the cooking time change any? Also which cut of beef would work really well with this recipe?

Bob T said...

Every big box store market in the Mexican food isle.

cookinmom said...

I know you just made this but would love to put in a request for Chicken Enchilada with green sauce! Mmmm...my fav!

Hannah Lee said...

Have you tried it with pozole in addition to/instead of potatoes? I'm really interested in how that would taste.

thetoddsmith said...

Chef John, I'm very sorry, but I am having trouble sending you a food wish email. I promise to figure out Chrome asap! First off, thank you so much for your recipes and incredibly entertaining and informative videos; they make my life complete! I was wondering if you could do a steamed vegetable video. I know, boring, but as I'm sure you know, it' not easy! Cutting them all same size is great, but obviously a same size carrot and zucchini aren't going to cook at the same rate. Are there steadfast rules on combinations? Hardware recommendation? What sauce/seasoning would you suggest? I'm sure there are thousands of recipes out there, but sincerely chef, your presentation and final product are very exciting and helpful. Thank you again for taking your time to read this request.

Evan Moiles said...

@Hannah Lee: this is great with pozole, but it's really just a great all purpose sauce in general. Pinto beans go great in it too.

@cookinmom, make this same recipe but omit the potatoes and instead of pork shoulder, poach some chicken thighs in the sauce. Shred the chicken thighs, strain the sauce (and adjust its liquid- it might need to be reduced or it might be too thick), toss the chicken with the sauce and monterey jack cheese, or if you want to be closer to authentic, queso chihuahua, then wrap the mixture up in tortillas, cover in more sauce and cheese, bake uncovered at 375 until heated through and the cheese is lightly browning on the edges.

Jim Spatz said...

In an effort to further develop my (thinking out of the box) culinary skills, I am going to attempt to combine this recipe with your carnitas recipe! I would appreciate any advice you can give me. I have a bunch of hatch chilis that will be used somehow.
Would a pork "sirloin" roast work in this dish? It appears to be plenty fatty.
Thank you, John.

Chef John said...

Pork sirloin is much leaner than the shoulder, which is what I highly recommend. It would work, but not as well IMO.

Divtal said...

This, definitely, goes on the "to do" list.

Thank you for coming to the defense of those of us whose palates make a direct cilantro=soap connection. I cannot imagine what it tastes like, if not like a mouthful of Irish Spring.

A fun, and funny, website is: "Ihatecilantro.com," where participants are invited to write poetry to their hatred of the stuff.


S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Greetings Chef! It occurs to dis' here feller dat' da' the same folks a-claiming dat' cilantro taste like soap also be da' same folks a-clamoring fer' sum' authentic Mexican food dat' be cooked wit' copious amounts of cilantro. Yep, I be on to dem'. Incidentally I'll also has ya' knows dat' I gots' me one of dem' spring loaded jars in da' fridge filled wit' Peruvian red pickled onions dat' I done thinly sliced wit' a mandolin. And I danged near sliced the tip off me finger to prove it to! Hasta luego! You're da' best!

Kathy Crawford said...

I made this dish tonight exactly as posted. It was outstanding!! I was going to save this recipe for the fall, but decided to go ahead and try it. My sister came over and said it is "two bowl worthy" which indeed it is. There is so much depth of flavor in this dish. I love tomatillo sauce, but have never cook with them. This recipe is definitely a keeper!!! Thanks Chef John

Bobbisox said...

I was wondering why you put in potatoes, until I heard you say you just like them, maybe more than the pork. I hadn't seen chile verde recipes using potatoes, but then, I never saw one that didn't use Anaheim or Hatch chiles either. I have made it with just jalapenos and poblano chiles to see what the difference would be, and with the deep flavor of the poblanos, I would ditch those (save them for chile rellenos) and put in about 3 pounds of Hatch or Anaheim chiles, better flavor and I leave mine in discernable pieces. Here in Southern California, we use chile verde as favorite filling for burritos and it has to be thicker, usually by longer cooking and with perhaps (I know one restaurant does) flour, to help thicken it so it stays in the tortilla. I happen to like the "bowl of green" too but not so it is thin brothed, as yours appears to be. To each his own taste, as my French teacher used to say.

Josef Montalbo said...

What blender are you using Chef John?

edward said...

Chef, this was great! But, if I could make one recommendation, I would recommend making up a batch of your homemade tortillas for dipping. Whenever I make them fresh my nephew comes in, snags a few plain, then walks off somewhere and eats them. OK, Next up; Meat and Potato Empanadas.

EL der said...

Pickled red onion recipe? Thanks!!!

philogaia said...

I have had people tell me that I must like cilantro since I like Mexican food. Nope, nope, nope. Cilantro may be the only food that people eat regularly in the States that I just can't stand. I have to ask in restaurants. I make Mexican at home and do not use cilantro. Drives me crazy when people try to tell me what I like or don't like. It also drives me a little crazy that I am one of the 10% who can't tolerate the taste. My whole family is like this.

I make pork verde and on occasion when in the late fall I'm left with a bunch of unused green tomatoes I will substitute. The flavor is somewhat different but they do work. I sometimes need to add a bit of lemon juice to bring up the acid a little.

Chef John said...

L der, please read the blog post! I gave the recipe there!

philogaia said...

Bobbisox, you and me on the Hatch chile. I was raised in New Mexico. And when I saw the potatoes? Fine, it is green chile stew. I'm there. Just feed me well done green chiles surrounding a nicely braised bit of meat and I'm a happy girl.

oiacob said...

Hi Chef John my name is Toni, I was thinking about roasting the tomatillos and poblano peppers to add a complexity to the dish but wanted to know if while simmering for an hour that flavor would be loss or depreciated?

Kathy Crawford said...

the potatoes are fabulous in this recipe

Cliverton said...

Thanks for this Chef.
You have brought back memories of camping in the High Peaks.
Now to Albany to find tomatillos.

Casa del Sol has reopened and I'm looking forward to lunch followed by a ride to Donnelly's for the
flavor of the day!

Keith Dingle said...

This was fantastic!!

yimyammer said...

pickled red onion recipe?

Alexander Matthews said...

Made this evening. I have no idea if what I made was "correct" but it was amazing. Blew the sauce up in a food processor as I do not own a blender (bad idea. technically worked. BIG mess. BIG fun). I could not find Yukon gold potatoes so I just used some roasters I had in the house. What I got was a bit thicker which I believe might have been the potatoes but I like thicker stews/soups anyway so that was A OK with me. I also browned up the meat quite a bit as I was busy moving stuff around my tiny kitchen, and not watching the meat. Overall what I got was tender, flavorful, and filling.I shall now have many work time lunches that I actually enjoy! When I get a proper blender I will make this again and again. Thanks for recipe!

AM Peres said...

Dear CJ, since this is my 1st post I want to also take the time to thank you for all the wonderful recipes and then some. That said I would like to get your take on the difference in flavor if I were to roast the Salsa Ingredients first? Thanks.
-AP

Leigh said...

I just made this...amazing. All of your recipes are winners in this house.

Mike Zimmerman said...

Hi Chef John,

Got a "Wee" little out of control with the salt. We still have a huge pot of this left. Can you tell me how to get the salt down? My wife's suggestion was to throw it back on with more potatoes and let them soak the salt. Any other hints?

The flavor is amazing but WAY too salty - it was my fault!

Chef John said...

cooking with more potatoes can help, but if it's really salty, maybe not enough. I'd probably try again! Good luck!

Mike Zimmerman said...

Hi again Chef John,

So I was able to rescue my salty disaster. I had leftover Anaheim peppers and tomatillos and all the other goodies. Made a new chile sauce base with water only (sauce volume about half what you spec in the recipe), then sauteed a half onion, threw in the spices (half, again), added the sauce and let simmer for an hour. Meanwhile, I roasted about 3/4 lb of the same potatoes (no salt or seasoning). When the sauce was done, I tossed in my original salty stew. Let that all heat up, then threw in my potatoes. It is sooo much better now, the salt is perfect, and retained much of the original flavor. Very potato-y, but what the heck, my wife loves it so we're in good shape. Thanks again for the great recipe.

Russell Troxler said...

I made this today, only used a Dutch Oven and the oven set at 300 degrees F (I have know idea what that is in C... I'm an American) oh and more time, I had stuff to do.

Ms. Carrie said...

Chef John! This stew combines so many of the flavors I love...it's fantastic. One small addition; I added just a pinch of cinnamon. BOOM!
Making a big pot right now, to feed my fellow nurses at work tomorrow. They'll love me. And you, too.
Thanks!

Ms. Carrie said...

Chef John! This stew combines so many of the flavors I love...it's fantastic. One small addition; I added just a pinch of cinnamon. BOOM!
Making a big pot right now, to feed my fellow nurses at work tomorrow. They'll love me. And you, too.
Thanks!

Rexie R said...

This was phenomenal!! A neighbor gave me a bunch of tomatillos and I had no idea what I would make! DELICIOUS!!!

Megan Rice said...

This recipe is so tasty thanks for sharing!!
🍴yum!!!

Winkie Man said...

Looks really good, but for some reason youtube has been telling me about it 2-3 times a day since you posted it. Have not had this problem with any of your other videos so wondering if some tweek, or option you might have done differently on this?

Chef John said...

Sorry, but haven't had any reports of issues! I'm sure just a temporary glitch.

Reed Hedges said...

Great in a tortilla too, if its not too runny/watery/soupy.

Christian Kakara said...

This looks super good! Going to make some this weekend, after I get a big tub of antacids.

Giles09 said...

Greetings Chef John.
A tip from a Mexican enthusiast:
Scorch the tomatillos, garlic and onions before adding them anywhere. Just put them directly against the flame and give them a turn every 30 seconds or so. This will give the sauce a true Mexican, musky, traditional aroma.
Also, I believe that skirt and rib meat are better for this recipe.
Congrats on the site. Is great.
Cheers.

Merry Wheaton said...

John: I was hoping to make it for a group and would like to know how many it serves. This recipe looks great and I'm especially happy to know how to make the awesome pickled red onions. Thanks.

Chef John said...

I try to guess at the portions, which you'll find it at the top of the ingredient list. This recipe should make about four servings. Enjoy!

Joshua Freeman said...

Hi chef John, thanks for the recipes and how to videos you do, I looked at many chili verde recipes but was sold on your use of potatoes. ( you just have to have potatoes ) I made this two weekends ago and yesterday I doubled the recipe because so many people loved it. I do smoke my pork over hickory at 180 degree for 3 hours before browing in pot and i omit cayene for chipotle for the smoky heat. So i do a smoked version. Thanks again for your help.

Keff said...

I was walking around in the supermarket today not knowing what to cook. And then I saw some packege in the vegetable counter I hade never seen before and it was Tomatillos for the first time!!! Even the cashier started looking at the pakege and wondered what it was.

Wonderful recipe!

Many thanks from Sweden! :)

Jd Björkhem said...

I have now made your cauliflower pizza and this recepie. Although i basicly had to wade through dead bodies to get ahold of Tomatillos here in Sweden, i managed and the wife loved it(as did I) . Late to the party, i know, but I felt the need to post my thanks. Your website and Youtubemovies really have helped me develop as a amateur chef. Thanks Chef John!