Crock Pot Pork Green Chili is a soul-satisfying bowl of delicious chunks of tender pork in a slightly thickened sauce loaded with lots of green chilies, tomatillos, and spices. A Colorado-inspired favorite that is just as good eaten out of a bowl like a stew as it is poured over burritos.
I hope you are ready for another week of state-inspired recipes in my American Eats series. Which, if you are new to the blog, is where I am working my way through the U.S.A. making foods that each state is known for.
This week is all about Colorado-inspired recipes and I'm kicking it off with this crock pot pork green chili.
Which came on my radar after I kept hearing about a Colorado burger known as "the Slopper" where, from what I understand, a burger is put on a plate and then a whole bunch of pork green chili is poured (um, slopped?) over the top. Then it's eaten with a knife and fork.
To be honest, I still haven't tried making a Slopper at home because this crock pot pork green chili was so delicious that even though it made a ton, we ate most of it straight up out of bowls like any other chili or soup and poured the rest over beef and bean burritos!
Garnish with some sour cream, cilantro, green onions, cheese, and lime and it's perfection on blustery nights, especially since pretty much all the work is done earlier in the day.
Even though it's called "green" chili, it's usually a pretty murky muddy brown color bordering on reddish, thanks to the diced tomatoes that are often added. But it's made with a whole lotta green chilies.
Some cooks like to use actual fresh green chilies that they roast and skin before making their pork green chili. Other's use canned green chilies. And then there are many recipes that just go straight to green enchilada sauce and salsa verde poured over browned chunks of pork to make the green chili.
After weighing the pros and cons of time/effort/taste, I opted for the middle ground of using canned whole green chilies rather than roasting my own poblanos and anaheims.
Which you could totally do! But honestly, I tend to strongly prefer crock pot recipes that require minimal prep. And spending all the time roasting, skinning, and removing seeds before ever getting to the dumping-and-running approach that makes the slow cooker so attractive just didn't sound practical or like something I would be willing to do on a repeat basis.
I also knew I wanted to control the flavor situation which would be easier to do with whole chilies than with premade green enchilada sauce and salsa verde. So, canned fire roasted whole green chilies it is then!
I'm not claiming that this is an authentic chili verde recipe (even though I made every effort to make it that way and do my due diligence), but it sure is good and I'm hoping it's close! Somebody from CO weigh-in in the comments and tell me what you think!
What is Chili Verde?
Chili Verde is a classic American Southwest dish that seems to be popular in both Colorado and New Mexico. It's made from chunks of pork shoulder (not the whole roast) that are cooked low and slow in a sauce made from green chiles, tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño and spices.
Pork Chili Verde is not spicy unless you leave in the jalapeño seeds to increase the heat, so even my young kids can gobble up a bowl of the saucy, tender meat without hesitation.
Chili Verde, or pork green chili as it is also known, can be used to fill burritos or tacos if you are just scooping out the meat from sauce, spooned over rice, used to smother burritos (or apparently burgers), or just eaten straight out of a bowl topped with all your favorite chili fixins'.
How to Make Crock Pot Pork Green Chili
This chili verde recipe entails about 15 minutes of actual hands-on effort and it's almost all up-front.
- Slice a pork shoulder butt roast into 1-inch cubes. You are going to want to trim off any excess fat while doing so you don't end up with a layer of grease on the top of your chili verde. Toss the cubed pork with a little flour mixed with spices, then brown in batches in a little oil in a hot iron skillet. Transfer to the slow cooker.
- In the same pan, add a little more oil and saute the onion and garlic to soften. I like to add a little broth to the pan to help scrape up any of the browned bits leftover from browning the meat, then I add all of this to the crock pot with the pork.
- In a blender, pulse half of the chopped tomatillos and peppers with the chicken broth, then pour this over the browned pork in the crock pot, adding the remaining chopped tomatillos, green peppers, jalapeno, and tomatoes and covering to cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
- You can leave the chunks of pork whole or use two forks to shred them at this point. The pork green chili could absolutely be eaten just like this, but I like to thicken it ever so slightly with a slurry of cornstarch and water, which I stir in and let cook for 30 minutes while I get the rest of dinner ready and set the table. It doesn't make the sauce thick like a stew, but gives it a slightly creamy, almost silky texture that is wonderful.
Tips for Crock Pot Pork Green Chili
- As written, this chili verde recipe is more of a soup or stew-like pork green chili. If you want to have a higher meat ratio that could be used to fill tortillas for tacos or burritos, decrease the amount of chicken broth in half from 4 cups to 2 cups. Or just make it this way and scoop out chunks of pork with a slotted spoon for your tacos and save the broth for the a light lunch the next day or for topping other dishes like a gravy.
- This makes a big batch of pork green chili, but it freezes really well. Just thaw it in the fridge overnight and heat it up again the next day.
- If you wanted to make this completely from scratch, I would recommend replacing the canned green chiles with 2 poblano and 2 anaheim peppers. Char the peppers (and might as well do the jalapeno and tomatillos while you are at it) under a hot broiler until black, turning frequently, then place the peppers in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap to steam them for 10 minutes. Then just rub or peel the skins off, remove the seeds, and chop.
More Delicious Soups You'll Want to Make this Winter
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Crock Pot Pork Green Chili
- 3-4 pounds boneless pork shoulder cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound tomatillos husks removed, chopped
- 28 ounces whole fire roasted green chilies, drained, chopped or diced
- ½ bunch cilantro chopped
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 jalapeno de-seeded, and chopped
- 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon chili powder
- 1 Tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon cold water
- lime wedges
- cilantro leaves
- chopped green onions
- sour cream
- sharp cheddar cheese grated
- tortilla chips or flour tortillas
- Cut the pork shoulder into 1-inch cubes, trimming any excess fat, then toss with the flour, salt, and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet and brown the pork on all sides, then transfer to a slow cooker. You may need to work in batches and add a bit more oil until all of the pork is browned.
- In the same skillet, saute the onion, peppers, garlic, adding a little more oil if the pan is dry, for 3 to 5 minutes. Add ½ cup of broth and scrape up any fond (the browned bits on the bottom of the pan) and transfer everything to the slow cooker with the pork.
- In a blender, combine ½ the chopped tomatillos with ½ of the diced green chilies and the cilantro, then process until smooth. Add ½ cup of the chicken broth if necessary.
- Pour the blended tomatillos into the crockpot and add all remaining ingredients except for the cornstarch and water. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours until the pork is tender.
- At this point, you can serve as is, or thicken by making a slurry with the cornstarch and water. Stir the slurry into the chili verde and cover again for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, then serve in bowls garnished with lime wedges, cilantro leaves, green onions, sour cream, grated cheese, and tortilla chips or warm tortillas.
More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Maryland • Massachusetts • Michigan • Montana • New York • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • South Dakota • Texas • Utah • Wisconsin