Chile Verde

Last Friday, Katie and I went to my parent’s place for our usual laundry day, and while we were there, we decided to see if there were any unpicked goodies in the garden that would need to come out before the first truly hard freeze. We’d had a light frost the night before, and fortunately the only thing left in the garden were pepper plants, though they looked pretty much done in by the frost.

The pepper plants, despite being frozen, yielded about 30 green Marconi peppers of various sizes.

We roasted them on our grill until the skins were black, then bagged them and let them set for about half an hour. Afterwards, I peeled, stemmed, and de-seeded them.

We decided we wanted to try making chile verde, since we had an abundance of peppers. We froze the peppers we didn’t use.

A bit of web searching yielded several recipes that looked promising, and we altered the method to suit our taste.

6 to 7 large green roasting peppers (Marconi, Poblano, Big Jim, Anaheim, etc.), roasted, peeled, and de-stemmed/seeded.
1 28oz can of whole tomatillos
5 cloves worth of roasted garlic pasted
2 lbs pork shoulder/butt/sirloin
2 small yellow onions, diced.
1 bunch of cilantro
1 tbsp cumin
1 to 2 tbsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 cups (approximately) chicken stock
3 additional garlic cloves, diced
1/4 cup flour for dredging the meat
1 to 2 tbsp vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp lard


In the blender:

Combine peppers, roasted garlic, and tomatillos and puree them into a thick sauce. Set aside.

Cube meat into 1/2 to 1″ cubes, dredge in flour, then salt and pepper liberally. Melt lard, brown meat in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and sautee, add garlic shortly after the onion.

Add cumin and continue to sautee for a minute or so.

Add the sauce from the blender and a cup or so of chicken stock. Also add the bay leaves and oregano. Cover and simmer over low heat until fork tender.

A few minutes prior to serving, add a couple of tbsp chopped cilantro, and the vinegar. Re-season with salt and pepper, and possibly add garlic powder if needed. Add stock as needed to thin, or simmer uncovered to thicken. Remember to stir regularly to avoid burning.

This will yield a vibrant green, thick stew. Potatoes may be added if desired, and some people add a small amount of ground cloves or cinnamon. Serve over Mexican style rice, or in a bowl with warmed tortillas.

Heat level will be determined by how hot your peppers are. If you want less heat, use milder peppers, or less peppers. Some recipes use only a couple of jalapenos, and no other peppers. The green marconi peppers were very, very mild, so using a lot of them yielded great pepper flavor but no heat. Adding jalapeno or green habaneros would work well to bring up the heat level.


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