Puerco Con Chile Verde

Puerco Con Chile Verde – Pork Green Chili Stew with Tomatillos

I’m a bit at a loss as to how to describe Puerco Con Chile Verde! Tender chunks of braised pork in a slightly spicy, slightly smoky green tomatillo sauce is descriptive but doesn’t quite give justice. Guisado de Puerco con Tomatillos or Carne de Puerco en Salsa Verde rolls off the tongue with a bit more flair.

Puerco Con Chile Verde

Puerco Con Chile Verde

Those are roughly translated as a Pork Stew with Tomatillos or Pork Meat with a Green Sauce. That is if my somewhat Spanish speaking friend (does a junior high class count?) was correct. Here in the States, we’re more likely to know this dish as Green Chile, Chile Verde, or maybe Pork Green Chile Stew, Puerco con Chile Verde. But no matter what it’s called, this is world-class cuisine, hailing from the Michoacan area of Mexico.

About Puerco Con Chile Verde:

If you know me, you know I have a passion for Mexican food. So when this dish was featured on a Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dive’s episode (on Netflix, now) Turn on Traditional, I knew immediately I was going to make it at the first opportunity. The bummer of it was the actual recipe as made by Artemio Espino of Espino’s Mexican Bar & Grill in Chesterfield, Missouri, wasn’t on the Triple D or Food Network Site. There was a slow cooker recipe with different ingredients, instead.

So I rewound the episode a few times just to make sure I had it down. This Puerco Con Chile Verde is pretty classic, just the pork stew and the green sauce. There’s lime, usually in the States, but orange is used, too in Mexico, and I tried the recipe this time, as they did at Espinos, with lemon.

Serve Puerco Con Chile Verde with my Mexican Rice and my Restaurant Style Canned Refried Beans if you’d like, for a classic Mexican meal or go street food style and serve in tacos, burritos, or any other way you’d like. You just can’t go wrong. Or maybe serve Puerco Con Chile Verde as a meal with sides the first night and make tacos with the leftovers.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Making Puerco Con Chile Verde:

There are a few ingredients and a process to follow but Puerco Con Chile Verde is pretty straightforward and simple to make. Just a note: this dish has a good bit of heat but is not over the top. If serving children or those anxious about the amount of heat, feel free to cut back on the jalapenos or the serrano or remove the ribs and seeds from the chiles.

First roast the veggies, then use them to make the Chile Verde Sauce. You’ll brown up the pork, then combine the pork and the sauce and cook it low and slow until the pork is tender and the sauce is thickened enough to coat it all.

Watch below as Abuelita Guadalupe Campos prepares Carne de Puerco en Salsa Verde Estilo Michoacan. (Roughly, Pork Meat in Green Sauce in the Michoacan Style.) She uses the same techniques – or I should say, I use the same time-honored techniques as she shows us here! Gracias, Senora Campos.

Storing and Reheating the Dish:

Store in the refrigerator, tightly sealed and it will keep for three to five days. This dish will freeze well.

To reheat from the fridge: Just reheat gently on the stove, adding a little liquid as needed. That will help the meat from toughening up. The microwave isn’t your friend when reheating pork shoulder.

From the freezer, I’d recommend thawing overnight and follow the same instructions as above.

Puerco Con Chile Verde

Puerco Con Chile Verde

Saving Money on Puerco Con Chile Verde:

Anytime you’re cooking with Pork Shoulder, you have the opportunity to bring in a great meal at a budget price. Watch for pork to drop to a low during fall to late winter, with lows again just a month or two before any holiday that features ham. They have to do something with the rest of the pork when all those hams are being prepared for Christmas and/or Easter.

If you miss that timeline, pay attention to the pricing in your area and know the highs and lows. At a really great sale, I can find pork shoulder from around 99 cents a pound (last week, in a bit of a fluke, the sale price was 49 cents, but that’s not normal) and those great sales can range up to around $1.69 a pound. Buy at a low and freezer. If the roast is huge, divide it up. See more on my post on Buying a Large Pork Roast.

The pork for this recipe ran about $5.50 on sale, and as far as the rest of the ingredients, I picked them up at Aldi for around another $1.50 (counting only the portions used for this recipe.) That is why I love cooking at home, folks. A serving at the restaurant runs $13.95! And then I’d “have” to buy a Margarita, too, lol!

Puerco Con Chile Verde

Puerco Con Chile Verde


Puerco Con Chile Verde – Pork Green Chili Stew with Tomatillos

Puerco Con Chile Verde – Pork Green Chili Stew with Tomatillos is world-class cuisine, hailing from the Michoacan area of Mexico.

  • Author: adapted from Espino's Mexican Restaurant
  • Total Time: about 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 - 8 servings 1x



The Stew:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 pounds pork butt, cubed 2″ to 2 1/2″ pieces, heavy fat removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper (or grated zest of one lemon & plus additional 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small cans green chiles, minced (or two poblanos, roasted, skin and seeds removed and diced)
  • Salsa Verde, recipe follows
  • reserved liquid from Salsa Verde as needed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Salsa Verde:

  • 12 tomatillos, husks removed (1 pound)
  • 4 cloves garlic, whole & peeled
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 Serrano pepper (may use 4 jalapenos)
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped (1/2 in saucepan, 1/2 in blender)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


The Stew:

In a large skillet, add oil, then garlic, and cook for a minute. Quickly add pork butt, then add salt, black pepper, lemon pepper, and oregano. Brown for several minutes, turning as necessary. Work in batches if needed – this stew is best if the pan isn’t crowded and a deep golden brown is achieved on all sides of the meat.

Watch the heat carefully, the liquid at the bottom should be looking almost syrupy when the meat is done, but do not allow to burn. (If you are replicating the restaurant version, simply brown lightly on the bottom for a few minutes.)

Add the Salsa Verde, cumin, green chiles, and onions and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring. Add the cilantro, stir in, cover tightly and cook for 1 1/2 hours at a bare simmer over low heat. Check 3/4’s of the way through and add a little of the reserved liquid from making the Salsa Verde, if needed.

The recipe is done when the pork is fork tender, still holding together, but will break apart when gently pressed with a fork.

Garnish, if desired, with Cilantro.

For the Salsa Verde:

Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat and add to the dry, hot pan, half of the onion, and all of the jalapenos, Serrano, garlic, and tomatillos. Cook for several minutes, allowing to darken and blister in spots, stirring now and then. Add water to cover, turn to a heavy simmer and cook until the tomatillos float to the top and are softened, but not to the point of bursting, about 20 minutes.

Strain and reserve liquid. Remove the stems from the peppers. Add the tomatillo/pepper mixture to the blender, along with the remaining onion, cilantro, white pepper, and salt. Add about 3/4 cup of the reserved liquid and blend. Use caution when blending hot liquids; cover blender with a kitchen towel and press down hard. Do not add the lid until the instant you are ready to blend so steam does not build up. Set aside the remaining liquid in case it is needed during the braising of the pork.


Freezes well, you may want to double for a second meal later.

Did you make this recipe?

Share a photo and tag us — we can't wait to see what you've made!

Tortillas, toasted on a burner or grill are so good with this dish. Keep warm in a clean towel.

To Prepare Tortillas:

Turn burner on to medium-high and allow to heat for a moment or two. Add tortilla and as soon as a few bubbles appear about an inch from the edge, turn and continue to cook for two or three more seconds.

The point is to heat through and soften not to “crisp.” Wrap in several layers of clean kitchen towel to keep warm, adding to the pile as each is done. This works with any type of burner or a grill but use a pan if you’re more comfortable.

Puerco con Chile Verde from Espino's; photo from yelp.

Puerco con Chile Verde from Espino’s; photo from yelp.

If you like Puerco Con Chile Verde, you might also like:

Puerco Con Chile Verde - Pork Green Chili Stew with Tomatillos, tender chunks of braised pork in a slightly spicy, slightly smoky green tomatillo sauce. A world-class dish hailing from Michoacan, this is how it is made at DDD, from Espinos Grill.. #GreenChile #DinersDriveInsDives #PuercoConChileVerde #ChileVerde

23 thoughts on “Puerco Con Chile Verde – Pork Green Chili Stew with Tomatillos

  1. Parley P. Cat

    Thank you for your recipe, it turned out amazing. I followed your recipe almost to the T, the only difference was I added a few more peppers, and I noticed in the Espino’s Mexican Bar & Grill video he adds pork base to the meat, I couldn’t find pork so I added a glob of beef base. I don’t know if it was necessary, but turned out really good. I also made your refried beans and Mexican rice, but I botched the rice a little. The only thing I had on hand was basmati. It was still very good, but I need to give it another try with the proper rice. We ate the leftovers on mashed potatoes and the flavor is even better the second day. I’ll definitely be trying more of your recipes. Thanks again.

    • FrugalHausfrau

      Hi and thanks for stopping back to comment! This is def a favorite at my house. Sometimes I see powdered pork base, and Better than Bouillon has one but I’ve never seen it in any store. Serving over mashed potatoes cracked me up, but mashed potatoes are my “desert island” food! I can see how good that would be! Take care & hope to “see” more of you here!


  2. petra08

    This looks so satisfying and I could almost smell the spices cooking! I love tomatillos and can almost never find them so have a few plants going in the greenhouse for some true Mexican feasts!

      • Tricia

        Hi! I just checked on my batch 3/4 of the way through and it seems really thin…will it thicken up during the last 25 minutes or as it cools?
        It smells really good! Love this recipe so far

        • FrugalHausfrau

          Hey Tricia, just got back home, sorry I couldn’t reply right away. And as you found out, it probably didn’t thicken up too much in that amount of time. It is pretty saucy, but shouldn’t be too thin, so if it was, I’m going to remake just to double check (and because now I’m hungry for it!). How did it turn out?

  3. This looks so flavorful! I recently made something similar, but it didn’t have the serrano and jalapenos in it. I think I like your recipe better! I love the texture of yours, too. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Thanks, Shari! It does have a bit of a tingle with the hot peppers, mostly because the seed and ribs are in it. That’s the great thing about a recipe like this is it can easily be adjusted up or down in heat level.

    • In the southwestern area of the states and in Mexico, many dishes are served with tortillas so they can be used to scoop up the food (as the old-timers do – I’ve seen many eat an entire meal with no utensils) or one can pick and choose from the plate to add to the tortilla and eat as a taco. Many times people will just eat the meal with a fork, and eat the tortilla as a bread, sopping up a bit of the sauce or cleaning off the plate at the end.

      It’s rare to see a meal served without a tortilla of some kind.

    • I didn’t get a photo the first night when it was served as a meal. Think of it like a Curry. As a matter of fact, it is served a lot like a Curry might be, with rice and a large flat piece of bread.

      Then the next day, the left overs were tucked into tortillas.

  4. I really like the way the ‘stew’ is served in the corn tortillas. I’ve warmed them in a dry cast iron frying pan on my glass top oven but never directly on it … I’d be too nervous. The Mexican red rice looks delicious.

    • My Mom was horrified when I tossed the tortillas on her glass stove top! But then she was horrified by a lot of things I did. Leaving a curling iron on, comes to mind immediately! 🙂 Thank goodness the big hair days are long gone and if they come back I won’t feel any need to participate! LOL! Cast iron is a great option, but I made my dish in mine…

Hearing from you makes my day! Comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.