Every year from August until Nov. 1, the green chile stands make their way to Denver, and I have to make at least one batch of Colorado-style pork green chile, which is more of a gravy-like stew compared to the more soupy New Mexico-style green chile. This year, I plan on making two batches. Although this recipe makes a huge pot of green chile that I freeze, I eventually run out during the year, which makes me sad. And I don’t want to be sad. I figure it’s time to be proactive and make sure I’m fully stocked until next year’s crop.
I love eating this green chile as a stew with plenty of delicious toppings as pictured, but we Coloradans are also known to smother our green chile on almost everything. Burritos? Obviously. Enchiladas? Most definitely. Burgers? Absolutely. Battered curly fries? For sure. A big plate of cheesy eggs? Without a doubt. Nachos? Yes, please. Really, we’ll smother this green chile on anything, so you can see why I need a larger supply.
If you’ve never visited a green chile stand, they’re awesome. You choose the heat level you’d like for your chile, and then they throw your chiles into a giant cylindrical gas roaster with fresh garlic and quickly turn it until the chile skins are black. And the smell? Intoxicating. I keep my nose in the air and happily take it all in while they roast. Honestly, I look a lot like Baylor when she catches a whiff outside.
But no worries if your area doesn’t have green chile stands. You can buy frozen roasted green chiles and use those in this recipe.
I won’t lie to you. This is a time-consuming recipe, but it’s well worth the effort. The chile stand takes care of the roasting, which is a huge help, but peeling, deseeding and chopping the chiles takes time. Once you prep the chiles, you cook the stew for about two to three hours to make sure the pork shoulder is perfectly tender.
That said, I love the process of making a slow-cooked chile. We don’t take enough “me” time these days, and making a leisurely, slow-cooked chile is the perfect escape on a lazy weekend day. Turn on your current Netflix binge, play your favorite podcast or blast some music. I especially love singing and dancing around to the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” soundtrack while cooking at this time of year, and I’m not ashamed. Not even a little bit.
How to Make Pork Green Chile
And now to jump into the recipe. To make this green chile, you don’t need a long list of ingredients. The green chiles are so flavorful, especially with the pork shoulder, that it’s unnecessary to load it with a bunch of different spices. Outside of the pork shoulder and green chiles, there’s a good chance you have most of the ingredients in your pantry.
As I mentioned, you need to peel, deseed and dice your green chiles, though you get to skip this step if you use frozen green chiles. The ones I’ve always seen already come prepped and ready to go.
After you dice your chiles, coat the pork shoulder with plenty of salt and pepper and sear it on all sides to give it a brown crust in a large stockpot. This step adds a nice caramelization to the pork and depth of flavor. Once you develop that lovely crust, remove the pork and cook the onion and garlic in that delicious rendered pork fat.
Now you’re ready to return the pork to the stockpot and add the green chiles, cumin, smoked paprika, pepper, chicken broth and diced potatoes. Bring the chile to a low boil, pop on the top and turn to low to simmer. Pour yourself a drink, give the chile a stir every so often to prevent burning and cook until the pork is fork tender and shreddable. This typically takes about two to three hours.
When the pork is ready, remove it from the stockpot, shred with a couple forks and remove any bones once it’s cool enough to handle. To get that signature Colorado-style thickness, we now make a roux and add it to the stockpot with the pork and cook for about five or 10 more minutes. For the roux, masa will give you the best flavor, but I’ve also used flour with good results.
And that’s it. If you need more heat, you can always add some diced fresh jalapenos with seeds or cayenne pepper to taste, but I generally don’t find it necessary. Another option is to serve jalapenos on the side in case people would like to individually add more heat to their taste. You can either serve the chile immediately or refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to meld.
Like I said, you can smother it on so many different dishes or serve as a stew with a variety of toppings. My favorite toppings are shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, red onion, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro and fresh lime. I also love dipping warm tortillas into this giant bowl of goodness. Now dig in and feel happy that all that me time led to this delicious dish.
Perfect Pairing for Colorado-Style Pork Green Chile
With beer, you have a few great pairing options. Pale ale and pilsner are delicious, but I especially love a good doppelbock with this green chile. Doppelbock’s caramel-like notes pair nicely with the pork’s browned crust, and the sweet malt contrasts from the heat from the chile, particularly if you go for a hot variety.
For those times wine calls, tempranillo will take care of you. Like a doppelbock’s malt, the red fruit in tempranillo balances the spice, and tempranillo isn’t overly tannic, so you don’t have to worry about the two clashing. Tempranillo also has higher acidity levels than other reds, which works well with the spicy green chile.
With the fall here, I hope you take some time for yourself to make this green chile. Every year I look forward to making a batch, and I’m sure it’ll be a new favorite for you as well. If you have a chance to try it, please let me know what you think and don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter.
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- Sweese 1305 Porcelain Bowls with Handles – 20 Ounce for Soup, Cereal, Stew, Chill, Set of 4, White
- Farberware Classic Stainless Steel 16-Quart Covered Stockpot
This Colorado-style pork green chile is the perfect comfort food with its flavorful pork shoulder and spicy peppers. Eat as a stew or smother it on your favorite dish.
½ bushel of roasted fresh green chiles (approximately 7 1/2 cups chopped chiles), mild, medium or hot, depending on your preference
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 lbs of pork shoulder roast
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon pepper
10 cups chicken broth
1 russet potato, diced
1 cup masa or flour, preferably masa but flour works well
1 cup butter
Cayenne pepper, optional, to taste
Fresh jalapeno, optional, diced, with seeds, to taste
1 lime, juiced
- If using freshly roasted green chile, remove the skin, deseed and dice. For frozen green chiles, thaw and dice if they don’t come chopped, though most frozen green chiles tend to come diced. You can also used canned green chiles, though fresh or frozen is my preference.
- In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Liberally salt and pepper the pork shoulder roast. Once the oil is hot, cook the pork on all sides until it develops a nice crust. This should take about four to five minutes on each side. Remove the pork, add the onion and turn heat down to medium. Cook for about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Put the pork back in the stockpot and add the chiles, cumin, spiced paprika, pepper, chicken broth and potato to pot. Bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the pork is fork tender, about two to three hours.
- When the pork is tender, remove the roast from the stockpot and shred with two forks once it’s cool enough to handle. Discard any bones.
- In a separate skillet, melt the butter to make a roux. Continuously whisk in the masa or flour for about four to six minutes. Return the shredded pork to the stockpot and stir in the roux. Cook for another five to 10 minutes until the green chile thickens to your liking.
- Taste the green chile and if you’d like to add more heat, stir in cayenne pepper or sauteed diced fresh jalapenos with the seeds. This step is optional. You can also add more salt to taste if desired. Turn off heat and stir in lime juice.
- You can serve immediately or refrigerate it overnight to allow the flavors to meld. Smother or eat as a stew. Garnish with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!
- Feel free to use your favorite garnishes. I especially love cheese, sour cream, guacamole, chopped red onion, crushed tortilla chips, cilantro and lime juice. Fresh jalapenos are also great if you’d like to let people add more heat to their liking.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- Category: Soups and Stews
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: Mexican-American
- Serving Size: 1 bowl
- Calories: 160
- Sugar: 2
- Sodium: 545
- Fat: 8
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 11
- Fiber: 0
- Protein: 8
- Cholesterol: 11
Keywords: chili, green chile, chile