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Mexican Pork (or Beef) Chile Verde Stew: Slow Cooked

Mexican Pork (or Beef) Chile Verde Stew: Slow Cooked
Home » Mexican food memories » Mexican Pork (or Beef) Chile Verde Stew: Slow Cooked

Chile Verde stew is a tangy, smoky Mexican dish, frequently made with chicken as the protein.  I have made it with pork shoulder, and another time with chuck roast, both of which added to the richness of the stew as they have more fat than chicken. Whichever protein you choose, it is a great comfort food to enjoy in cold weather.  The refreshing crunch of a jicama tomatillo slaw is the perfect side dish.

Black bowl of chile verde stew with tortillas on the side.
Pork Chile Verde Stew

Jump to: RECIPE | Ingredients and Substitutions | Illustrated Steps | Ideas for Leftovers

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The Flavor Benefits of Slow Cooking the Stew

In Mexico the pork version is known as Carne De Puerco En Salsa Verde (pork in green sauce).  And in Mexico cooks tend to take the time to slow cook this stew with available fresh ingredients. Sadly, in the Mexican-American version of this dish found in many restaurants, canned chiles are often used along with 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, and using a pork shoulder or a chuck roast 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 meat tender.  Take a Sunday and watch a movie, play a card game with the family, or take a nice long nap.

Ingredients and Substitutions

The key to a memorable chile verde stew is cooking the meat low and slow. Here are some tips for pulling the most flavor out of your stew ingredients:

The Meat

Whether you are using a pork butt or a chuck roast the key is to look for a fatty cut that is evenly marbled, which means the animal was well-fed but also had a chance to exercise.

It should have a healthy pink color with no smell when it is raw.

Verde Sauce

It is possible to achieve depth of flavor with a pre-made chile verde salsa, as long as you add a few key spices and cook the dish for several hours to blend the flavors.

If you have the time and the ingredients available, you can pretty easily make your own homemade chile verde sauce.

Glass bowl of chile verde sauce with tomatillos, lime and tortillas to the side.
Chile Verde Sauce

Flavor Additions

The slow cooked meat and the chile verde sauce are the keys to this recipe. From there, most cooks tend to improvise. A few ingredients I have used that worked well in this stew include:

Here are the ingredients below for a beef version using a pre-made chile verde sauce.

Ingrediens for pork chile verde stew on a wood cutting board.
Ingredients: meat, onion, cumin seed, chipotle spice, chicken broth, cinnamon, oregano, salt
Mexican pork chile verde with tomatillos
Mexican pork chile verde with tomatillo homemade chile verde

Illustrated Steps for Beef Chile Verde Stew

Here are the steps lined out with photos. For the details of the recipe itself, see the recipe card below.

These steps would be the same for the pork version of this stew. Just use a pork shoulder (butt roast) for the meat instead of a chuck roast.

Step #1: Cut the roast into 1-inch pieces

Step #2: Sear the meat in oil

Chuck roast cut into 1-inch pieces on white cutting board.
Step #1: Cut chuck roast into 1-inch pieces.
Seared chuck roast meat on a white plate.
Step #2: Sear the meat in 2 Tablespoons hot oil.

Step #3: Saute onions until caramelized

Step #4: Simmer meat, salsa verde and stock for 2 1/2 hours

Chopped onion on red cutting board.
Step #3: Sauté a chopped onion in oil until caramelized (~5 min).
Pork chile verde cooking in a large stainless steel pot on the stove.
Step #4: Add meat back to pot, along with salsa verde and chicken stock and simmer 2 1/2 hours.

Ideas for Leftovers

  • Tacos: One batch of this should be enough to feed 6-8 people.  In our household there are only the two of us now, but I am a big fan of using these leftovers for a high protein breakfast or lunch.  The easiest way to use the leftovers of this stew is in chile verde tacos.
3 corn tortillas filled with pork chile verde, onions, cheese and cilantro.
Corn tortillas filled with beef chile verde
  • Soup: Leftovers can also 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).
Low carb Mexican baked eggs in chile verde sauce, still in skillet
Low carb Mexican baked eggs in chile verde sauce,
  • Heat it up! I’m pretty lazy with my leftovers actually 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!

If you enjoy all types of Mexican food, check out this category of ALL Mexican recipes, where you will find over 40 Mexican recipes, from casual, to low carb, to fancy.

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Low Carb Chile Verde Stew

Black bowl of chile verde stew with tortillas on the side.
Mexican Chile Verde stew can be made with chicken, pork or beef and can be spicy or not. The roasted tomatillos in the homemade chile verde sauce add the semi-tart, delightful flavor common to verde sauces, but this can be made with store-bought chile verde sauce also.
4 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 471


Homemade Chile Verde Sauce (can sub in pre-made)

  • 1.5 pounds 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
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth can add more if needed

For the Stew:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or lard
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder or chuck roast cut into fairly large cubes (about 1 1/2 inches)
  • 1 large onion coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds or 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked chipotle spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1.5 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chicken broth may need more broth to thin the stew


To Make Verde Sauce:

  • Heat the oven to broil. Cut the tomatillos in half the tomatillos and place them, along with 6 unpeeled garlic cloves, on a baking sheet and broil for 5-6 minutes
    1.5 pounds 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.
    **Note: if you want to skip this step you can use prepared salsa verde.
    1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch green onions, 2-3 green chiles, 1 cup unsalted chicken broth

For the Pork Stew:

  • Cut the meat into 1-2 inch pieces, removing some of the fat if it is really fatty. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven or a large skillet over high heat.  Sprinkle meat with salt while waiting for the oil to heat (can sprinkle with pepper also if desired).
    2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 pounds pork shoulder or chuck roast
  • Add pork or beef pieces to the heated pot, working in batches (don't crowd, 3 pounds of meat will need to be divided into 2 batches). Cook until each side is browned, turning to brown the other side also. 
    Remove meat to a plate with a long slotted spoon or long tongs (the oil splatters) and cook the next batch.
  • When all meat 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 spices, stir in and cook 1 minute. Return pork to the pot, along with any juices on the plate.  Add 2 cups of the salsa verde (either purchased or the chile verde salsa made earlier), 1 cup of broth, stir and bring to a gentle boil.
    1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon smoked chipotle spice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1.5 teaspoon salt, 1 cup chicken broth
  • 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.
  • Serve with accompaniments, which could include sour cream, cilantro sprigs, avocados and limes.



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Calories: 471kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 47gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 999mgPotassium: 1123mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 266IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 81mgIron: 6mg
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  1. Beth says:

    Good lord this sounds delicious. I can’t wait for your Mexican slow/low carb cookbook.

  2. Olive says:

    I’m making this tomorrow. Read several recipes and can tell this one is the best. Will report back. Thanks.

  3. Nancy Faux Casas says:

    This recipe is actually very good in spite of it being all over the place. There are many errors that need to be corrected.
    It says to add 1/2 of the roasted tomatillos. What do you do with the other half? I should have saved my money and only bought 1/2. In the same instructions for the sauce, it says to add 1 cup of chicken broth, but below it says 2-3 cups. Also, you are supposed to add the roasted garlic to the sauce. So, why do you say to add garlic to the pork? (# 4 of instructions). As I said, this recipe is all over the place. Thankfully, I know how to make Mexican sauces.3 stars

    • Thank you for the helpful comments. I will relook at the recipe this weekend and address your comments to make the recipe better. I’m always open to improving both the recipe and the clarity of making it!

      • OK Rose, I clarified a few things:

        1. When it said half the tomatillos, it should have said cut the tomatillos in half because you do use them all, they’re just cut in half to blend easier.
        2. I fixed the broth ingredients. There was 1 cup needed for the verde sauce and then an additional cup needed for the stew. I also noted that you may need more than 1 cup in the stew to thin it (but you may not…it is your preference on texture)
        3. You are right the garlic should only be added to the sauce and not again to the stew. I deleted the reference to adding garlic to the stew.

        Hopefully these changes will help others who are not as experienced have a successful stew. I’m glad your experience allowed you to make it and enjoy it, and I appreciate the comments.

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