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 side dish of jicama, along with fresh limes and fresh tomatillos lend this Pork Chile Verde a year-round appeal.
The Benefits of Slow Cooking Pork Chile Verde
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!
Recipe for Low Carb Pork Chile Verde
- 3 cups (or more) unsalted chicken broth, divided
- 1 to 1 1/2 lb tomatillos, husked, rinsed, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch green onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 5-6 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil or lard
- 4 to 4 1/2 lb pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp cumin seeds
- 2-3 mild to medium green chiles, chopped (I used 1 Anaheim and 2 Poblanos)
- 1 tsp smoked chipotle spice (I used HeathGlen’s chipotle spice but you could use your favorite)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- more cilantro for garnish (optional)
- In a food processor or a blender puree 2 cups chicken broth, 1/3 cup of chopped tomatillos, green onions, cilantro and garlic. This is the salsa verde. Set aside.
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil (I used lard) in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Sprinkle pork with salt while waiting for the oil to heat (can sprinkle with pepper also if desired).
- Add pork pieces to the heated pot, working in batches (don’t crowd). Cook until browned, turning occasionally. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and cook the next batch.
- When all pork is browned and removed from pot, add the onion and saute about 5 minutes or until translucent (may have to add a little more oil).
- Add the cumin seeds and cook a couple of minutes until onions are golden and cumin is toasted. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining tomatillos and cook until slightly browned, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
- Return pork to the pot, along with any juices on the plate. Add 2 cups of the salsa verde, 1 cup of broth, the chopped chiles and the remaining spices.
- Cover 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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