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Chili verde in a white bowl
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4.84 from 6 votes

chili verde - pork with tomatillos and green chilies

Chili verde is an absolute classic dish that is best made with pork shoulder.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time3 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 6
Calories: 304kcal
Author: romain | glebekitchen


  • 3 lbs pork shoulder cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 large white onion sliced into 3/4 inch slices
  • 5 cloves garlic in the husk
  • 2 medium jalapeños
  • 1 1/2 lbs tomatillos husk removed
  • 5-8 Anaheim or poblano chilies roasted, peeled and seeded
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt plus more to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp vegetable oil to brown the pork
  • chicken stock as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Mexican oregano If you don't have it, do NOT use regular oregano.


The sauce

  • Use a comal or cast iron skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add the onion slices, garlic and jalapeño. Dry roast until the onion and garlic are lightly charred and the jalapeño skin blisters. Peel the garlic. Remove the seeds and inner membrane from the jalapeños. Set aside.
  • Place the tomatillos on a baking sheet lined with foil. Move your rack up high in the oven. Broil until charred. Black skin is OK. Set aside.
  • Light your grill. Grill the anaheim/poblano peppers until charred. Remove from the grill. Place the charred peppers in a paper bag to steam and soften. Peel and seed. 
    If you can get hatch chilies, use them and leave me a comment bragging about how lucky you are. Seriously. I am very jealous. I have never seen one in a store in my life.
    Or you can just use canned chilies. Much easier. Almost as good. 
  • Coarsely chop the charred onions. Chop the chilies. Place the onions, chilies, garlic, jalapeño and tomatillos in a blender. Puree until pretty smooth. It will still be a bit chunky. That's OK. If it doesn't puree easily there's not enough liquid. Add a bit of chicken stock.
  • Add the cilantro and pulse until coarsely chopped and distributed throughout the sauce. Add the Mexican oregano if using. Set aside.

Chili verde

  • Preheat a large dutch oven over medium heat.  Add the oil. You want enough so the bottom of the pot is well coated. 
  • Working in batches, brown the pork. You will need to do this in 2-3 batches, depending on how large your pot is. Don't overcrowd the pot. You will get steamed pork instead of nicely browned pork. Not good. Brown pork means flavour. Steamed pork - not so much. Set the pork aside.
  • Add the pureed chili tomatillo mixture to the pot. Watch out. It will bump and splatter. Wear your worst clothes. Cover it to contain the mess. Cook the mixture over medium low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  • Return the pork to pot along with any accumulated juices. Add just enough chicken stock to cover the pork. You may not need to add any at all.  
  • Simmer until the pork is tender. This can take an hour or two or even more. Depends on the size of the chunks. 
  • When the pork is fork tender (so you can stick a fork in the pork and it meets very little resistance) taste and adjust the salt. 
  • Serve with lime for those that like a bit of extra zing. A bit of diced fresh jalapeño is tasty if you want it a bit hotter. Tortillas or pinto beans make a nice side. If you really like pintos, mix them right in. This is just a big pot of chili after all. No rules. No judgement.


If you don't want to go to the trouble of roasting peppers, use 2-3 4 oz canned of roasted green chilies. Not quite as good but still delicious.


Serving: 6servings | Calories: 304kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 92mg | Sodium: 620mg | Potassium: 835mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 22.8mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2.5mg