New Mexico Chile Verde (Green Chili)
New Mexico Chile Verde
Regional cuisine is a beautiful concept. It’s all about cooking what’s grown in your own backyard.
World wide, regional dishes are celebrated for their diversity and ingenuity. I believe that’s why America has become a melting pot, of not only cultures, but flavors. We want to taste what’s growing in everyone’s backyard.
More than any other state I can think of, New Mexico has fully embraced the concept of celebrating regional cuisine.
New Mexicans are proud of their agriculture and the history behind their dishes. Their kitchen creations scream adaptability and survival. In blazing arid climates, what can you grow?
And what can you make with an abundance of chiles?
The BEST Chile Verde.
For generations, locals have chosen to honor the chiles with great exuberance. The state question after all is, “Red or green?” As in, “Do you prefer to eat red or green chile?” Chiles are not just produce, they are a way of life.
New Mexico Chile Verde, also know as Green Chili and Green Chile Stew, is a dish I discovered years ago on a cross-country trip. A native New Mexican friend made it for me and I was baffled by the concept of chili that wasn’t red… And didn’t contain tomatoes, beans, or beef.
What was this strange and wonderful concoction!?
Get the Full New Mexico Chile Verde (Green Chili) Recipe Below. Enjoy!
New Mexico Chile Verde (Green Chili) is known for not having an official recipe. It consists of slow cooked green chiles and pork; all other ingredients are optional.
Locals would avidly tell you that the chile peppers you use matter quite a bit. The long green “New Mexican” style chiles are a state treasure.
What I buy at the market in North Carolina would only be considered a shadow of real New Mexican chiles. They say the dry barren soil of New Mexico produces the hottest and most flavorful chiles. Known commonly as Hatch Chiles (grown in Hatch) or Big Jims, these chiles are a source of great pride.
I asked my friend what kind of chiles I should use to make New Mexico Chile Verde (Green Chili). She answered, “Green.” Looking over the selection in the market I asked, “What kind of green chiles?” With a tinge of exasperation she replied, “GREEN!”
What Ingredients You Need to Make Green Chili
Trying to be the happy-medium, I’ve prepared my version of New Mexico Chile Verde (Green Chili) with locally grown green chiles. I substituted a mixture of Anaheims (a milder New Mexican style chile), Poblanos for depth of flavor, and a couple Jalapeños for heat.
Here is the full ingredients list:
- Oil – your preferred oil for sautéing
- Pork butt – trimmed and cubed
- Onion – peeled and chopped
- Garlic – minced
- Seasonings – cumin, coriander, oregano, bay leaves and salt
- Peppers – Hatch or Anaheim, poblano, and jalapeno
- Tomatillos – peeled, cleaned, and chopped
- Cilantro – chopped
- Masa – aka corn flour
- Lime wedges – for garnish
The addition of stewed tomatillos, cilantro, and a splash of lime juice at the end make for an exciting bowl.
It’s spicy, zesty, and GREEN in more ways than one!
How to Make My New Mexico Chile Verde AKA Green Chili Recipe
- In a large pot over medium high heat, heat the oil and add the cubed pork along with 2 teaspoons of salt. Brown the pork on all sides while stirring regularly. Remove the pork from the pot and set aside; pour off the rendered fat and keep about 1 tablespoon in the pot.
- To the oil add chopped onion, salt, cumin and coriander, and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Add the minced garlic and peppers, and continue cooking for a few more minutes.
- Next, add the chopped tomatillos, bay leaves and cilantro. In a separate bowl, toss the browned pork with the masa and then add all to the pot, stirring well.
- Lastly, add the water; bring to a boil and then reduce the heat down to a simmer. Cover and continue to simmer for about 3 hours while stirring occasionally. When ready the pork should be fork-tender and falling apart: Use two forks to shred the pork completely, and add salt and pepper to taste.
I love enjoying a heaping hot bowl of Chile Verde with crunchy tortilla chips or a hunk of sweet cornbread.
Some toppings I recommend are diced green onions, an extra handful of chopped cilantro, and a dollop of sour cream.
How Long Will New Mexico Chile Verde Keep?
Stored in an airtight container this green chili will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.
It also makes a wonderful meal prep and freezer meal! Leftovers can be stored in freezer bags or freezer-safe containers wrapped in tin foil and frozen for up to 3 months.
Can I Make in an Instant Pot or Slow Cooker?
While I have not personally tried this New Mexico Chile Verde recipe in an Instant Pot or pressure cooker, I believe it would work very well.
You’ll need to use the Sauté function to first cook all of the ingredients per the recipe below, making sure to deglaze the pot before adding the masa coated pork and water. Pressure cook on HIGH for 7 minutes and then do a Natural Pressure Release for 10 minutes.
Similarly, to prepare in a slow cooker you’ll first need to sauté the pork, onion, peppers and tomatillos with seasonings first on the stove. Then, transfer ingredients to the slow cooker, stir, cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or LOW for 5-6 hours.
Is This a Gluten Free Green Chili Recipe?
It is gluten free! Because I make this Green Chili with masa there are no wheat-based ingredients.
What Can I Use as a Substitute for Masa?
If you don’t have masa on hand, you can either make your own by pulverizing corn tortilla chips in a food processor, or try a simple swap like corn grits or rice flour to keep the recipe gluten-free.
You also can substitute with traditional wheat flour for a non-gluten free version.
Can I Make Chile Verde with Beef Instead of Pork?
Absolutely! A large beef chuck roast or 3-4 chicken breasts would work as a great swap for the pork butt.
Let me know in the comments if you give this recipe a try or use any substitutes!
Looking for more satisfying stew and chili recipes?
- Paleo White Chicken Chili Recipe
- Slow Cooker Brunswick Stew
- Best Turkey Chili Recipe
- Mexican Street Corn Chicken Chili
- Turkey Soup with Poblano Peppers
- The Best Beef Stew Recipe
New Mexico Chile Verde (Green Chili)
- 1/4 cup oil
- 4 pounds pork butt, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 large onions, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Hatch peppers, chopped (or Anaheims)
- 2 Poblano peppers, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- 1 pound tomatillos (peeled and cleaned), chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 bunch cilantro (large), chopped
- 3 tablespoons masa (corn flour)
- 4 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon salt, divided
- Lime wedges for garnish
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork and 2 teaspoons of salt. Brown the pork on all sides, stirring regularly. Remove the pork from the pot and pour out all rendered fat, saving about 1 tablespoon.
- Add the onions, remaining salt, cumin, coriander, and oregano to the pot. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Then add the garlic and peppers. Sauté another 3-5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatillos, bay leaves, and cilantro. Toss the pork with the masa and add back to the pot. Stir well.
- Finally add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 3 hours, or until the pork is falling apart, stirring occasionally.
- Take 2 forks and break the pork up even more. Salt and pepper to taste.
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