There are many different variations of lovely green chili out there: Chile Verde, Chile Verde Con Cerdo, New Mexico Style Green Chile, Texas Style Green Chile, Hatch Green Chile, authentic Green Chile from Mexico, and probably many more I’ve yet to name. The ingredients vary in each type of chile, or each regional style, or heck even within the same region. You might find tomatillos, tomatoes, even potatoes in some recipes. Meat or no meat. Cumin, garlic, onion, chili powder… If you don’t live in one of the places where green chile is a thang, you might not know that the proper way to make it is a hotly debated topic. Let me tell you, people take their chile seriously.
Before I throw myself into the fray, I’m going to go down in the record as saying I haven’t met a green chile I don’t like. I love em’ all. (So, I’m not knocking your green chile recipe. In fact, I’m sure it’s awesome and you should totally share it with me in the comments below.) That being said, there is a right way to make green chile, and that’s Colorado Green Chile thank you very much.
Yup. Good Colorado Green Chile is preeety much crack. Except that crack does really bad things to you, where as green chili gives you burrito super powers, and possibly cures the common cold. Score!
Like every Colorado cook worth their salt, I’ve got my own personal Colorado Green Chile recipe. I’m going to say I’m pretty much a purist in my ingredients: chicken stock, some garlic, plenty of pork shoulder, roasted green chiles, and a good roux. We Colorado natives naturally make our Green Chile with Hatch Green Chiles. Now this might be blasphemy, but in my opinion, plain old Anehim Green Chiles are really good Green Chile material too, which is good because I’ve found it strangely difficult to find Hatch Chiles here in Texas where I now reside. I feel green chile with Anehim is a perfectly proper variation that still can wear the Colorado Green Chili name proudly, though I will admit I’ll always buy Hatch if I can find em.
Ok now that we’ve discussed the heck out of green chili let’s get to the recipe- No wait, your right, there are two green chili recipes listed in the post title. So what’s Smoky Green Chile then?
Here’s how it went down. I was making a batch of green chile kind of spur of the moment, when I realized, gasp, that I didn’t have the pork shoulder in the freezer like I thought I did. Fortunately, I did have some leftover ribs from KT, a local Colorado BBQ joint that we love. KT’s ribs are dry rubbed and smoked, and delicious. So I tossed em’ in the green chili and waited to see what happened. With in minutes, the beautiful smell of smokey meat, combined with the smell of roasted green chilies, and oh my, I was hooked. Since I was adapting anyway, I played around with adding a few more spices, and Smokey Green Chile was born. I sent it along with the husband to work to have the guys taste test. It passed, and one of the guys remarked that he would have to smoke his pork before making green chile from now on, so I knew I had a winner. And, now, finally, the recipes!
Colorado Green Chile
Yields about 6 cups green chile (Exact amount depends on how much you allow water to reduce, how much pork you add etc.) Adapted from my MIL, Kathy's recipe.
- 4-5 lb. fresh or roasted Hatch green chiles, frozen is also ok You can susbsiture Anehim Chiles to reasonable effect if you can't find hatch chiles.
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 lb. pork Pork shoulder or other tough cuts work well in this recipe, but I've found pork chops to be incredible convent as well.
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons Better Then Bullion Chicken Stock
- salt, to taste
If using fesh chiles start at step one. If using pre-roasted or forzen roasted chiles add your chiles to a large pot with the 8 cups of water and skip to step 5.
If using fresh chiles wash the green chiles Place in a dutch oven or other large oven safe pot. Drizzle the canola oil over the chiles. Place in the oven uncovered on the middle rack at 400*. Allow the chiles to roast for 1-2 hours until very fragrant. The chiles will even be slightly blackened in some places when done, this is great!
Remove the chiles from the oven and allow to cool enough that you can touch them. Gently pull on the stems of each chile to remove them. Discard the stems.
Add the 8 cups of water to the dutch oven. Transfer the dutch oven to the stove and set to a medium high heat. Allow the pot to come to a boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
Use an immersion blended to lightly puree the chiles in the water.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet to medium high heat. When hot add the pork to the skillet. Sear the pork , turning as needed to get a deep brown color on each side of the pork. While the pork is browning whisk together the 1/4 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of water until the flour is totally dissolved.
As soon as the pork has browned on all sides transfer the pork to the dutch oven or pot with the chiles and water. Allow the fat/ drippings from the pork to remain in the skillet, and the heat to remain on. Add the flour/ water mixture to the skillet and begin whisking vigorously. Shortly the mixture will begin to thicken and bubble. Reduce the heat to low and allow the mixture to brown whisking only occasionally. Cook until the mixture is a deep golden brown, (the deeper the brown the better the flavor of the chile) then pour immediately into the dutch oven. Stir into the green chile.
Add the garlic powder and better then bullion to the pot and stir well.
Allow the green chile to simmer for several hours (probably at least 3 but as much as 6) until the pork is fully cooked. (And falls off the bone if it had one. Remove the bone when the meat has fallen off). The water will have reduced and the chile will have thickened somewhat as it cooked. Add addtional water as needed if it has become to thick. Taste and add additional bullion or salt if needed.
Serve hot over, well, everything! Extra chile can be stored in the fridge in an air tight container for about a week or frozen in an airtight container for several months.
To adapt the recipe and make Smokey Green Chile add with the garlic powder:
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 Tablespoon smokey paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper
Substitute 1/2 lb. to 1 lb. cooked smoked pork for the pork called for in the original recipe (leftover ribs from BBQ night work especially well).
Note: This post has been updated as of 8/16/19.