Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)


It's Super Bowl week! The Super Bowl is the fifth most important American food holiday. Time for recipes for your party!
*Thanksgiving, Christmas, Forth of July, Memorial Day, Super Bowl. Actually, I think the Super Bowl has passed the Forth of July and Memorial Day, and moved up to #3, right behind Christmas...

I had this post all planned out. My Super Bowl chili would be Chili Verde, green chili, to tie in with the Green Bay Packers. Then the Packers lost in their first playoff game. Oh well, the chili is still worth talking about.
*I live and die with the Cleveland Browns. Die, mostly. But my Dad grew up in Wisconsin and is a huge Packers fan, so I like seeing the Packers do well.

Chili Verde breaks the mold. Pork? Green sauce? Is this really chili? It is the only chili, other than Texas Red, that the International Chili Society recognizes. But, green chili? It sounds like it should be in a Doctor Seuss story.
*I would not eat it in a boat, I would not eat it with a goat. I will not eat it here or there, I will not eat it anywhere! I will not eat green chili, Sam I am...darn, lost the rhyme at the end.

Chili Verde is more involved than most slow cooker recipes. Broiling peppers and tomatillos, then blending them into a green sauce is a little extra work.* If you time it right, though, the peppers are under the broiler while you brown the pork, and everything comes together at the same time. It's worth the extra work. The results are full of green chili flavor and big hunks of pork. Chili Verde is different from red chili, but every bit as delicious.
*And if you want to cheat, and dump things out of jars and cans, check out the variations at the end of the recipe...

Recipe: Slow Cooker Chili Verde (Green Pork Chili)


Adapted From: Elise Bauer, Chile Verde, SimplyRecipes.com

Cooking time: 10 hours

Equipment:

  • 6 quart or larger slow cooker (Crock Pot brand is fine, but I like my fancy one from All-Clad)

Ingredients:

Green Sauce:
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 pound Anaheim chiles, halved, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 green bell peppers, halved, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, halved and stemmed
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 5 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano (preferably Mexican oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup chicken stock (preferably homemade, or water)
  • 1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • a couple dashes green hot sauce (optional, see notes)
Left to Right:
Tomatillos, Anaheim pepper, Jalapeno pepper, Green Bell pepper

Directions:

1. Make the green sauce:
Spread the tomatillos, anaheim chiles, bell peppers, and jalapeno peppers skin side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Put the baking sheet 6 inches below a broiler set to high, and broil until the tomatillos and peppers are blackened in spots, about 5 minutes. Flip the tomatillos and broil until the tomatillos are browned on the other side and the skins of the peppers are blackened all over, about another five minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the peppers cool for a few minutes, then peel the blackened skin from the peppers and discard. (A little leftover blackened skin is fine.) Pour the contents of the baking sheet into a blender or food processor, including as much of the liquid as possible. Add the cilantro and the teaspoon of Kosher salt, then blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Peppers and tomatillos are halfway there - want the peppers to be blackened
Blending the Green Sauce

2. Brown the pork:
Sprinkle the pork evenly with the 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Heat the oil in a fry pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Brown the pork in two to three batches. Cook each batch for six minutes total, turning the pork halfway through the cooking time to brown it on two sides. Transfer the pork to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat behind as possible.

3. Saute the aromatics and toast the spices:
There should be 2 tablespoons of fat left in the pan; add more oil or pour out fat to get to 2 tablespoons. Add the onions to the fry pan and sprinkle with the 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Saute the onions until softened and starting to brown around the edges, about 3 minutes, scraping occasionally to release the browned pork bits from the bottom of the pot. Make a hole in the middle of the onions and add the garlic cloves, cumin, coriander, oregano and brown sugar. Cook until you smell the garlic and spices, about one minute, then stir into the onions. Add the chicken broth and green sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits.


4. Slow cook the chili:
Transfer the contents of the fry pan to the slow cooker. Stir the pork, pork juices, and crushed tortilla chips into the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low heat for 10 hours or high heat for 5 hours.

5. Serve the chili:
Stir in the lime juice and hot sauce. Taste add more salt and pepper as necessary. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and more green hot sauce.

Variations:

*Cheater version: Instead of making the green sauce, buy it in jars or cans. Use 28 ounces of tomatillo salsa, and 28 ounces of green enchilada sauce. Watch the heat level on the tomatillo salsa - you want mild to medium salsa; if it is a really hot salsa, it can overwhelm the rest of the chili.

*Beans: If you want beans in your chili, stir in 28 ounces of canned navy or cannelini beans with the pork and tortilla chips. Just don't tell the ICS - see rule #1.

Notes:

*I save the dregs from tortilla chip bags for my chili recipes. The crushed chips dissolve and thicken the sauce, and add a little masa flour taste to the chili. Slow cooker recipes tend to be watery, so the extra thickening is a big help.

*Hot sauces: Depending on the heat level you're looking for:
Tabasco Jalapeño Sauce - medium heat
Dave's Hurtin' Jalapeno Sauce - hot
El Yucateco Green Chile Habanero Sauce - hot!
El Yucateco XXXtra Hot Habanero Sauce - oh, my

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Texas Red Chili
Slow Cooker Ground Beef and Bean Chili
Click here for my other slow cooker recipes.

Adapted from:

Elise Bauer, Chile Verde, SimplyRecipes.com

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21 comments:

Carolyn Caster said...

Thanks for this recipe. I used jars of the tomatillo salsa and ench sauce and added navy beans. The pork shoulder I bought had a bone, which got thrown into the crockpot as well. The chili verde turned out very well and I'll definitely make this again.

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

You're welcome! Beans are always a welcome addition...but, shhh...don't tell the Chili Society I said that...

Aaron Friedman said...

How much masa would you use instead of tortilla chip crumbs, about 1/4 cup?

Also, what's with the bell peppers? Why not poblanos or more anaheims? 

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Yes, use a quarter cup of masa. I'd whisk it in with a cup of the liquid from the pot, then stir it in at the end of cooking.

I use bell peppers to keep the heat level down while adding more pepper flavor to the recipe. I was aiming for a medium heat level, so I didn't scare my kids. If you're ok with more heat, use poblanos or anaheims instead of the bell peppers. I add the extra heat at the table with a few shakes of habanero pepper sauce.

Orlyfrank said...

How many does this recipe serve ?

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

It's a pretty big pot of chili. I'd guess 8 people if it was the main course, more if you're serving a lot of other things with it, less if they're big eaters.

Chris Lukowski said...

I noticed the instructions indicate all the browning/frying is to be done in a fry pan and transferred to the slow cooker, but the pictures you put up make it look like you're doing it all inside the slow cooker insert on the cooktop. Is that a perk the All-Clad cooker provides you? (FWIW, I'm shopping for a slow cooker but the collection of iffy reviews on Amazon gave me some pause for the All-Clad model)

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

It's a feature of the All Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker at Williams-Sonoma. It has an aluminum insert, instead of ceramic, so it is stovetop safe. I used the frypan instruction since most people don't have stovetop safe inserts.

Chris Lukowski said...

Ah, so that explains it! The embedded link in your slow cooker recipes links the standard ceramic model on Amazon. We'll be sure to put the WS model on the wedding registry next year!

Charlie Lawton said...

As a longtime resident of New Mexico and southern Colorado, I feel compelled to get all food snobby and say that Green Chile really shouldn't include tomatillos. Around here, it's pork, potatoes, onions, garlic, and lots of roasted, chopped green chiles - I use green chile powder to add body to the broth and a mix of mild and hot autumn roast chiles, chopped roughly and added near the end. The consistency is more of a chunky stew than a thick, gooey chili. Tomatillos are really more of a Mexican ingredient, and green chile begins and ends in New Mexico. Obviously, Ohio isn't gonna have the variety of green chiles we have around here, but Anaheims do quite well.


Anyway, don't mind me - we're particular about green chile around here. I don't mean to take anything away from your version, which I'm sure was great, but if you'd like to give it a shot with a more New Mexican recipe, I'm happy to provide.

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Charlie,

I'll never turn down an authentic recipe. Please, share!

Melissa Bryson said...

Mike - I found this while looking for some new ideas. I cannot wait until the weather in Atlanta gets cold enough for me to make it. It looks delicious. Melissa (www.mcnackskitchen.com)

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Gets cold enough? Sigh. Remind me why I live in Ohio again?

Stu said...

Is there a "printable" version of the recipe?

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Look for the Print Friendly button on the bottom of the page. You can pick and choose what you want to print with it.

Carolyn said...

Think this adapts well to the pressure cooker? I just don't have 5 hours today... Thanks!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Absolutely! It cooks similar to this recipe: http://www.dadcooksdinner.com/2010/06/pressure-cooker-pork-chili-with-beans.html

Denise Myerson Kazen said...

My husband and I used to get a chili verde from Costco 10+ years ago and loved it! Of course they stopped selling it. Everything we found since then has been mostly fat and very little meat. 10+ years later I finally decided to try and find a recipe on the internet. I had read your recipe and was nervous about making the peppers correctly, etc. I made it the cheater way the first time, then I decided I needed to go completely home made. I am so glad I did! The only changes I made were using a pork loin with fat completely trimmed. I only browned the onions in a little oil, but the rest of the ingredients all got thrown into the crockpot. (I also used a little more cilantro.) Came out fantastic! I was very surprised to read the previous person's critique about not using tomatillos since in Texas that's the only way I've ever seen it. I looked it up and apparently it's regional to either use tomatillos or to use potatoes. I'm curious to try the other way as well and have a second dish. This is definitely a keeper. Yum!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

Thank you, glad you enjoyed it!

Sandra said...

Glad I found this. This is authentic Mexican recipe. I'm from California and this is similar to my moms recipe. I looked everywhere for something this similar. Thanks!

Mike V @ DadCooksDinner said...

You're welcome. Glad you like it!

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