Pork Chile Verde is a tangy, smoky Mexican stew, frequently made with chicken as the protein. I think pork adds to the richness of the stew however, making it a great comfort food. The refreshing crunch of a jicama tomatillo slaw is the perfect side dish to this comfort food.
The Flavor Benefits of Slow Cooking the Stew
In Mexico this dish is known as Carne De Puerco En Salsa Verde (pork in green sauce). And while they may take the time in Mexico to slow cook this stew with available fresh ingredients, the Mexican-American version of this dish in restaurants often means canned chiles or cooking leaner cuts of pork for shorter periods of time.
Slow cooking this dish at home with fresh ingredients is definitely going to give you a surprising taste treat if you haven’t had a home-made version before.
Slow cooking this stew as a slow braise, using a pork shoulder with plenty of fat allows the meat to remain incredibly juicy. The pungent, spicy sauce mellows out as it cooks and you end up with a dish that is pretty incredible.
Just give yourself some time to let the flavors of the sauce develop while rendering the pork tender. Take a Sunday and watch a movie, play a card game with the family, or take a nice long nap.
Leftover dishes with Pork Chile Verde
One batch should be enough to feed 6-8 people. In our household there are only the two of us now, but as a low carb diet coach I am always preaching using leftovers for a high protein breakfast or lunch.
This dish lends itself really well to batch cooking on the weekend and using the leftovers in weekday meals.
Leftovers can be turned into a great soup by adding some chicken stock and whatever vegetables you have in your refrigerator. Heat it up and add a soft-boiled egg on top and you have an amazing breakfast or lunch. (or dinner actually).
I’m pretty lazy with my leftovers and have been known to eat the same dish three days in a row. When it is as good as this, it is certainly not a problem!
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Recipe for Pork Chile Verde
Low Carb Pork Chile Verde
- 1.5 lbs tomatillos husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 5-6 cloves garlic peeled
- 1 bunch cilantro reserve some for garnish if desired
- 1 bunch green onions
- 2-3 green chiles mild or medium- I used 1 Anaheim and 2 poblanos
- 2-3 cups unsalted chicken broth divided, can add more if needed
- 2 tbsp olive oil or lard
- 4-5 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt) cut into fairly large cubes (about 1 1/2 inches)
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon dried cumin
- 2-3 Cloves Garlic Chopped
- 1 tsp smoked chipotle spice I used HeathGlen's chipotle spice but you could use your favorite
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1.5 tsp salt
- Heat the oven to broil. Half the tomatillos and place them, along with 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a baking sheet and broil for 5-6 minutes1.5 lbs tomatillos, 5-6 cloves garlic
- In a food processor or a blender add 1/2 of the pan of the roasted tomatillos, all of the roasted garlic cloves, cilantro, coarsely chopped green onions and peppers, and 1 cup chicken broth. Puree until chunky or smooth, depending on your preference. This is the salsa verde. Set aside.1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch green onions, 2-3 green chiles, 2-3 cups unsalted chicken broth
- Cut the pork into 1-2 inch pieces, removing some of the fat if it is really fatty. Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (I used lief lard) in a dutch oven or a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt while waiting for the oil to heat (can sprinkle with pepper also if desired).2 tbsp olive oil, 4-5 lbs pork shoulder (Boston butt)
- Add pork pieces to the heated pot, working in batches (don't crowd, a 5 lb pork butt will need to be divided into 3 batches). Cook until each side is browned, turning when golden brown. Remove pork pieces to a plate with a long slotted spoon or long tongs (the oil splatters) and cook the next batch.
- When all pork is browned and removed from pot, lower the heat to medium and add the chopped onion to the leftover oil in the pot and cook about 5 minutes or until translucent.1 large onion
- Add the garlic and cumin seeds (or cumin powder) and cook about 1 minute until garlic is golden and cumin is toasted. Add remaining tomatillos and spices and cook until slightly browned, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).1 tbsp cumin seeds, 2-3 Cloves Garlic, 1 tsp smoked chipotle spice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp oregano, 1.5 tsp salt
- Return pork to the pot, along with any juices on the plate. Add 2 cups of the salsa verde, 1 cup of broth, stir and bring to a gentle boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover pot and simmer over medium-low heat about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Check occasionally and thin with chicken broth if needed.
- Before serving, stir in remaining salsa verde and bring to a simmer. Accompaniments could include sour cream, cilantro sprigs, avocados and limes.
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