What makes Colorado Green Chili different? The right Chile peppers, pork, and a lineup of unique spices. Learn how to make this Hatch Green Chili, Colorado Style, an award winning recipe and a must have for your recipe collection.
Every August when Hatch Chiles are roasting in our markets, I make a couple of large batches of Green Chili to pack away in freezer containers to keep us warm until Spring. A nod to our neighbors to the South, no surprise that the dish originated in New Mexico. Traditional New Mexico Hatch Green Chili is a simple sauce or soup with seasonings and roasted Hatch Green Chile peppers. Heading North, it transforms into a thicker soup or stew with the addition of pork. Which is the only way I’ve ever made it… for over 30 years.
And why use New Mexico Hatch? They’re meatier, they’re larger and superior in flavor. If you live in an area where Hatch Chile are not available to you – you can always order them delivered to your doorstep. And they’re already roasted! Yes please!
Back in 1979 I had my first introduction to this incredible Southwestern treat when a coworker, petite, blond and Polish brought a crock pot full to an office pot luck. I hounded her for at least a year for her recipe but she would never give it to me. All I knew was that it was full of pork and green chiles. Keep in mind this was before computers and the wealth of resource we have at our fingertips.
With all that said, this recipe has developed into my own, with countless tweaks since 1979. And has turned into an award winning Hatch Green Chili Recipe. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
Let’s Take A Look At The Method
- I start by roasting a four-pound pork shoulder roast in the oven, 350 degrees for 3 hours. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper, or you can season with pork rub, a sprinkling of chile powder, you choose.
- When the roast is cool enough to handle I remove the fat, shred the meat, and place it into my large Dutch oven.
- I chop the tops off fifteen roasted Hatch Chile Peppers, remove some of the blistered skin and chop. Most of the seeds come out when you chop the top off. If you want to take the time to clean the peppers by removing the veins and all of the seeds, you’ll have to split them open and scrape. I don’t do that, unless they’re too hot. The heat is in the veins and seeds of the pepper. DO NOT rinse the chiles under water to clean. You rinse away that roasted flavor.
- From here I add chicken broth and a can of (or fresh) chopped tomatoes and my lineup of spices. Chimayo Chili Powder is important in my recipe. Or use a good quality red chile powder purchased from a reputable spice shop. I also use Chili Powder in my recipe. Chili powder is a combination of dried chilis with other spices added in. It’s what you use to make Beef and Bean Chili Soup.
- Mexican Oregano is important in this recipe. But what’s the difference between Mexican Oregano and regular Oregano? Mexican has a more peppery flavor and it a bit sweeter. Greek is more savory and Italian is milder. Again, a good quality spice shop will have Mexican Oregano. If you can’t find it, use Greek or Italian to taste.
- I let it simmer on low for at least an hour, and usually 2 – 3 hours.
- Simply serve the green chili with warm flour tortillas for dipping or scooping.
- Side note: Chile with an “e” refers to the vegetable, the chile pepper itself. Chili with an “i” refers to a stew or soup.
One of my recent additions has been a teaspoon of hot Chamayo Chile Powder for some additional excitement. The Native American Chimayo chile is a small chile, about five inches long. The lower part of the pod is bent and its stem top indents like a royal crown. The growing conditions in Chimayo New Mexico contribute to this chile pepper’s distinct flavor and identity. Just like wine, it’s all about the terroir.
One way to identify authentic Chimayo Chili Powder is by its distinct pottery red-orange color. Native Chimayo chiles have medium heat and a smooth robust flavor with chocolate-like base tones. The remarkable thing about the real Chimayo chile is the ability to age the chile under controlled conditions. When aged properly, the chiles flavor is refined like a fine wine. If you’re interested, Saveur Magazine writes a great article about the village of Chimayo, it’s history and it’s culture.
I entered this recipe in the South Metro Denver Realtor Association Green Chili contest for nearly 6 years, and it always placed at the top.
Hatch Green Chili with Pork, a Colorado Style Green Chili Recipe.
- 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 pounds pork shoulder roast
- 1 onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon hot Chimayo Chile Powder or good quality red chile powder
- 1 teaspoon of your favorite chili powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Mexican Oregano
- 14.5 ounces can chopped tomato undrained
- 15 chile peppers chopped roasted, skinned and chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
Simply season the pork roast with salt and pepper. Place in a large Dutch oven, cover and roast in a 350 degree oven until done. About 3 hours. Remove the roast from the pan and let cool and then shred the meat with two forks. Set aside.
Heat the oil and the bacon drippings in the same Dutch oven. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes . Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the shredded meat, tomatoes, chicken broth, salt, coriander, cumin, oregano, tomatoes, chile powders and chiles. Bring to a boil and then simmer on low for 2 hours..
In a bowl combine water and cornstarch and stir until combined. Towards the end, I like to add a little of this to thicken the soup.
Add a squeeze of lime to each bowl of chili. From here, taste and adjust the seasonings to your taste. Serve with warm flour tortillas.
Hatch Green Chili with Pork, Colorado Style …It’s What’s for Dinner.
Now that you’ve got a supply of this Award Winning Hatch Green Chili, you must make a Breakfast Burrito. A perfect combination of scrambled eggs, potato and bacon smothered with Hatch Green Chili. Take a look at this:
Or a lighter Southwestern Breakfast of Fried Egg and Hatch Green Chili:
- One Year Ago: Tacqueria Style Slow Cooked Chicken Sliders
- Two Years Ago: Braised Chicken with Potatoes Lemons and Olives
- Three Years Ago: Ancho Chile Sauce for Porkchops
- Four Years Ago: Ina Garten’s Creamy Mustard Vinaigrette