When you’re getting back to basics in the comfort food zone, pork green chili ranks right up there in the top five. At least, as a Coloradoan, it does for me. Colorado is a place where green chili and salsa aren’t just condiments — they’re meal essentials.
Green chili derives its specialness because it pulls from regional traditions. As a traditional Mexican food, there is no one right or wrong way to prepare it. In the molcajete in which the label “Mexican food” is mashed, pounded and then adhered, the only certain thing is there is no such thing as one definitive Mexican food.
Our state’s predominant version of green chili is a brownish-orange, thick gravy studded with diced green chilies — with a color range from Pantone Pumpkin to Tangerine to Butterfly (yes, really). But you’ll also find a tangier version of green chile prepared with tart green tomatillos, diced onion and cumin in a Mexican restaurant one block over.
It’s no wonder there is confusion as to what is authentic green chili.
With this recipe, you’ll end up with a green chili that’s a dead ringer for Pantone 448C, billed as the ugliest paint color in the world, according to decor trends. Officially titled, ”Opaque Couche,” while it might not be a good color to paint your bedroom, it makes for a tasty green chili.
Tender diced pork and creamy white potatoes give you options. Slurp as a soup or ladle over a burrito. It’s also good over eggs, the ultimate green chili delivery device, in my book.
Easy Pork Green Chili Recipe
- 2 1/2 pounds lean pork meat, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 – 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 12 ounces roasted green chilies, either fresh, canned, or frozen. If using frozen green chilies, defrost before using. Available in either mild or hot versions — it’s your choice.
- 2 – 28 ounce cans salsa verde or green enchilada sauce
- 6 cups low-salt chicken stock
- 16 new white potatoes, cut into quarters
- 3 carrots, peeled, quartered and diced
How to make the recipe:
Place pork in large bowl and sprinkle with flour, pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Toss pork well to coat pieces thoroughly.
Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to large, heavy skillet and heat over medium to warm. Toss in garlic and onions and sauté until onion begins to soften but isn’t browned, about 3 minutes.
Pour in remaining olive oil and brown pork until no longer white, about 8 minutes. Add green chilies, salsa verde, and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes, stirring occasionally so meat doesn’t stick to skillet.
Add potatoes and carrots to the pot and continue simmering for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender when tested with a fork.
Serve as a stew, ladle over a burrito, or embellish eggs.