I moved to Colorado in 1998 and I’ll never forget the first time someone asked me if I knew how to make chile. Um, hello, I’m Mexican; of course I know how to make all kinds of chile dishes.
Then they said, “No, green chile!” I was confused. “Yes, I know how to make salsa verde, salsa casera, chile verde con carne y papas, and green enchilada sauce.” “Which green chile are you talking about?”
Then they said, “No, pork green chile, Colorado style. It’s thick like a gravy or stew made with spicy fire roasted long green Mira Sol Chile from Pueblo, combined with chunks of pork tenderloin, tomato, and onion. We use it to ‘smother’ our dishes.” “Smother?” I was very confused.
Then I went to my first Mexican restaurant in Denver and ordered chile rellenos and the waitress asked me if I wanted them smothered. I kept hearing about this green chile and the term smothered and finally had to give it a try. To be completely honest I was not a fan – I found it horrible and wrong.
It took me years, but I have finally come to appreciate this unique thick green Colorado style chile, and I have to admit it can be quite addictive.
This recipe was adapted from my cousins’ husband who is from Pueblo, Colorado. He makes a mean green chile, so I knew I had to ask him for his popular recipe. Thank you Augi!
If you live in Colorado be sure to go to the Chile & Frijoles Festival and stock up on some fire-roasted chile.
If you do not have access to this chile, try making it with Hatch Chile, but whatever you do, don’t use canned chile.
With green chile season and Labor Day just around the corner, I invite you to make a big pot of this spicy pork green chile. I especially love it while camping. You can make a big batch of it and freeze it and reheat it on your campfire or Coleman stove. Something about this pork green chile lingering through the Colorado mountain air is a beautiful thing.
I especially love this chile smothered over my eggs in the morning. Yes, I said smothered, after all I’m a Coloradoan now.
Pork Green Chile (Colorado Style)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 pounds pork tenderloin, diced
- 2 onions, chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 quarts chicken broth, fresh or packaged
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons coriander
- 3 tablespoons dried oregano, crushed
- 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 30 to 35 Mirasol or Hatch Chiles, roasted, peeled, and chopped
- 2½ cups cold water
- 1 cup cornstarch
- Heat oil in a large skillet or casserole. Place the pork and cook for about 10 minutes, until pork is browned. Add the onions and garlic and cook until onions are tender about 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth, salt, coriander, oregano, tomatoes, and chile. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a separate dish combine water and cornstarch and continue to stir. Add a little of the cornstarch mixture at a time to the stew. The stew will thicken as it cools.
- This recipe can also be transferred to a slow cooker for all day simmering on low.