Soups Tex-Mex

Texas pork green chili

Green chili DSC 8075

Was October a strange month for y’all? It sure was for me. Every time I turned around, it seemed something had gone awry. Whether it was the computer meltdown we had in Phoenix, my erasing almost 200 photos when I accidentally formatted the wrong memory card, gifts I had ordered being sent to the wrong people, important emails ending up in the junk-mail folder or just the endless games of phone tag I played with my friends, almost nothing I did this month was clear and simple.

Now some people chalked up these bizarre twists and turns in communication to Mercury being retrograde. And my being a Gemini, I was doubly doomed as this planet is my ruler. But I don’t believe in that stuff. Not really, anyway. But since Mercury is supposed to un-retrograde soon (I’m not quite sure what a planet going retrograde really means), let’s hope that the rest of the year proceeds without too many more hiccups.

Texas pork green chili | Homesick Texan

As I’ve been fiddling with one mishap after another, I’d forgotten that October was National Chili Month, an occasion I’m always eager to celebrate. And now that we have proper jacket-and-scarf weather happening in New York City, spending a few hours at the stove is a welcome prospect. Heck, downright necessary as it can get quite nippy inside my apartment.

Last year I discussed the merits of Texas Red. That will always be my benchmark chili—the one to which all others will be compared. But a few years ago I got it into my head to start making green chili as well. I thought it would be festive, especially around Christmas, to have big bubbling pots of red and green chili side by side. I didn’t hail from a green chili tradition, however, so I turned to a friend from New Mexico on how to make it since that state is known for its green chili.

We were at the movies and I didn’t have a pen or paper handy, so I asked him what he put in his chili just hoping I’d remember. He told me a list of ingredients and his method, which after watching the film I promptly forgot. No matter, I didn’t use a recipe for my red so I reckoned I didn’t need one for my green.

Texas pork green chili | Homesick Texan

I simmered pounds of chopped pork back with only green chiles (jalapenos, poblanos and serranos) and only green herbs (cilantro and Mexican oregano). I threw in some tomatillos, chicken broth, beer, garlic and onions for good measure, and after a few hours I had a pot of tender pork nestled in a thick, fiery gravy. It wasn’t exactly green, but there were enough green spots dotted around the bowl for me to feel triumphant. Plus, the texture was dense, as a good chili should be, but the tomatillos and cilantro added a welcome brightness. I loved it.

Soon after, my New Mexican friends invited me over for dinner. And on the menu was green chili—New Mexican green chili. And while they shared similar ingredients, it was nothing like mine. Where mine had heat, theirs was more subtly spiced. Where mine stuck to the spoon, theirs was more liquid with distinct chunks of meat. Two completely different dishes, and yet both were welcome on a cold night. “I guess I didn’t follow your directions very well,” I told my friends. They laughed and said it didn’t matter, as my version, while essentially wrong could still be considered right.

Texas pork green chili | Homesick Texan

So even if I didn’t make green chili the New Mexican way, my green chili is still worthy of the name. And it’s also a darn fine pleasure to eat. So in celebration of National Chili Month and in honor of miscommunication I present to you my green chili—proof that sometimes a misunderstanding can lead to something good.

Green chili DSC 8075
5 from 1 vote

Texas pork green chili

Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


  • 6 poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 pounds boneless pork butt, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Serrano chiles, seeded and chopped
  • 4 jalapeños, seeded, stemmed, and chopped
  • 1 pound tomatillos, husked and chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup Mexican lager
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup masa harina
  • Sour cream, for serving
  • Warm tortillas, for serving


  1. Roast the poblanos under the broiler for 10 minutes, turning once, or until blackened. Place in a paper bag for about 20 minutes. After this, the skins should come right off. Then seed and dice the peeled poblanos.

  2. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat up 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease on medium-low heat. Lightly salt and pepper the cubed pork and add to the pot, browning on each side, about 2-5 minutes per side. You may have to do this in batches. Once browned, transfer the pork to a large bowl, pouring into the bowl the pan juices. 

  3. Return the pot to the stove and heat up the remaining tablespoon of bacon grease on medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. 

  4. Return the pork and its juices to the pot, along with the poblano chiles, Serrano chiles, jalapeño chiles, tomatillos, chicken broth, Mexican lager, cumin, oregano, and 1/2 cup of the chopped cilantro. Turn the heat up to high, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low and gently simmer uncovered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and skimming any fat from the surface.

  5. After 2 hours, add the rest of the cilantro and taste and adjust seasonings, adding more if needed. Continue to cook uncovered for another hour to 1 hour or until the pork is tender.

  6. To thicken the chili, on a separate dish, mix the masa harina with some of the chili liquid until a thick paste is formed. Slowly stir this into the chili until it’s well incorporate without any lumps. Continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Goes great with sour cream and tortillas.

Recipe Notes

You can use fewer Serrano and jalapeño chiles if you want it to be less fiery. 

  1. Hmmm, I grew up in New Mexico, but have never made green chili before. I think I need to start with this recipe!!

  2. I am not sure about where you live, but here in Ontario, many cuts of meat go on sale at summer’s end, including many choice cuts of pork. It seems once BBQ season ends, pork cost less than half what they charge during the warmer months.

    I’ve got a frezer full of pork roasts, ribs and I think I might have to fire up a batch of green chili.

    I wish we had better access to the real New Mexico peppers, but with a bit of foraging I think I can rustle some up. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. I’ve been meaning to leave a comment for months now. I’m an Okie who is also half Texan and I’ve had a lifelong quest for a good biscuit recipe. I tried yours and love it! Thanks so much to sharing it with us. I’ll try this green chili next.

  4. I’ve been meaning to make your red chili ever since you posted about it, and now I have a new one to the list. They both look so good, but I can’t fathom what either of them actually taste like seeing as the only chili I ever ate growing up came out of a can…

    I have made your biscuits, though, and like Kay I think they’re spectacular!

  5. hey its strange , i know a couple of friends who’ve been complaining about Oct being not so good. We too have had a bad season work wise , so yes we all hope and pray the rest of the year goes without any hiccups 🙂
    I’ve never tried green chilli , your recipe looks interesting.Love the use of 3 diff peppers in here.

  6. yep, green chili is usually the hottest yummiest variety here in Austin..yum

    I’ll give your recipe a go and thanks:)

  7. Looks great! I really like green chili.

  8. Anonymous

    Sometimes I try to think about what it would be like to live entirely in the present, the way my dogs and my cat do. It would be great when old age comes, because there’s no fear of what the condition means. To me, that’s a comfort when I think about the fact that my oldest dog may not live much longer. He has some lumps too, but they don’t seem to bother him at all. I think as long as he has fun and is not in pain, he’ll be here getting loved and taken care of; that’s the most any of us can ask, I think. I hope your cat has more years of fun and love.

  9. Sounds yummy! I’ve never had it, but am definitely willing to give it a try.

    BTW, if you ever have that problem again with the memory card (accidentally erasing it), don’t give up. The photos can be recovered, especially if you haven’t taken any new ones after erasing.

    If you don’t know a computer guru in your neck of the woods, give me a shout – my husband is a PC repairman, and has recovered erased photos for several customers.

  10. I would love to have some of this for dinner!

  11. Garrett

    OMFG! Yum, this looks so freaking tasty!!! Cannot wait to make it!

  12. Nabeela

    lovely idea of using green vegetables with meat to make chili…I’m thinking of trying something similar bt with chicken.

  13. I absolutely adore chili and I will definitely try your recipe for green chili as I’ve never had that kind before…droool…

  14. Oh-ho, this looks amazing. Cannot wait to try it. I’m also having a ball in your archives right now, with my pepper/Mex obsession. So, thanks! 🙂

  15. My own green chili, spurred on by several gifts of Hatch chiles, is even less authentic than yours — further proof that almost anything that goes into a pot with chile peppers will come out pretty darn good. I’m bookmarking your recipe to give it a try — it looks delicious.

  16. I’ve never made this – so I’ll have to give it a whirl. In our household, anything involving spice and hot peppers gets an instant nod of approval 🙂 it’ll be perfect for a cold and rainy day – which reminds me, I need to take a sick day. Soon.

  17. Lisa Fain

    Deborah–I can’t believe growing up in New Mexico you never made green chili–no matter, now’s a perfect time to start! Enjoy!

    Tommy–I’ve never noticed meat going on sale at the end of the summer, but it makes sense. Too bad I didn’t stock up!
    Good luck with your foraging!

    Kay–Wonderful! I’m so happy you enjoyed the biscuits!

    Melissa–You need to eat some real chili soon–it tastes nothing like that canned stuff (though I must admit the canned stuff is perfect for Frito pie). Glad to hear you also loved the biscuits!

    Kate–What was up with October? I know so many people who thought it was an awful month. No matter–it’s finally November!

    Trojan–You’re welcome! I don’t think I ever had green chili when I lived in Austin, but next time I’m there I’ll have to try some.


    Anon–I like your philosophical take on our animals. Very comforting.

    Lissa–Oh, darn! I already took photos with the card again. Is it too late to recover the deleted images?

    Kalyn–You would love it–all your favorite flavors! And South Beach friendly as well (if you forgo the tortillas.)

    Garrett–Thanks! It is indeed very tasty. Hope you like it!

    Nabeela–I’ve never tried it with chicken, but I reckon it would taste just as delicious–green chiles, cilantro and tomatillos go so well with chicken.

    Alex–It’s definitely drool-worthy!

    Luisa–You’re very welcome–glad someone’s getting some use out of the old archives!

    Lydia–I’ve never made it with fresh Hatch chiles (though I did make it once with canned ones) but that’s what my New Mexican friends used. They’re not as fiery, but very flavorful.

    Radish–On a cold and rainy day, a bowl of this will warm you up in no time. And take that sick day–I won’t tell!

  18. Vanessa

    This looks marvelous, sounds divine, and I can’t wait to make it…thanks Lisa.

  19. Rosa's Yummy Yums

    Oh, yummy! That’s a wonderful dish! Delightful! I’m in love with Tex Mex food…



  20. Oh my my! Poblanos, tomatillos, cilantro….*drool*

    I have never heard of green chili before, but it sounds ever so yummy.

    Thank you for the update on Lily. Please give her an ear scratch for me. (I’ve been without pets for so long that I, not traditionally a cat lover, am beginning to like them a whole lot!)

  21. hensteeth

    Your recipe reads tasty, and I will give it a go when the weather cools down. It looks like the leftover could be a nice filling for a stray tortilla too. Thank you.

    And yup, green chile stew is a soup.

    Take away the cumin, masa, beer, oregano and increase the chicken stock, and you have the recipe.

    The trick, like you said, is to finish the long simmer with most of the cilantro and most of the green chile, both to taste. If you throw it in the last 10 minutes by bits, it keeps the stew green with just your brand of hot.

    Learned the basic recipe from the ladies at the tamale factory down the street when I lived in Albuquerque. And the smell of fresh tamales is surely what heaven smells like.

  22. uhmhum, that sounds delicious! It sounds more like the Colorado green chili I’ve sampled in the red state. Funny…
    I love your reasoning for making green chili, because it’s festive. That’s my kind of circular logic!

  23. Anonymous


    i guess if you’re the homesick texan, i’m the homesick coloradan. i live here in italy, and i’ve found that whenever i need to cook up something ‘american’ for the picky folks here, i usually reach for one of the old western standbys. (i need to review your site for chili recipes!) i wanted to thank you for the sopapilla info!

    i’d be interested to know your thoughts on:

    -thanksgiving; it’s coming up.
    -good bar-b-q sauce recipes.
    -good dishes to make when you don’t have some of the fancier ingredients. (where on earth will i find serrano peppers?)

    also: have you ever heard of a mexican dish called ‘chiles en nogada’? would love to make it at home…

    thanks again!

  24. Cynthia

    I’ve heard of green chili before but never had it. Yours however makes me just want to grab the bowl for myself 🙂

  25. Mmm, green chili. That looks and sounds divine. I’m making a pork and green chili stew this weekend that’s slightly reminiscent of it, actually, and it’s one of my most favorite things to eat.

    I’m glad that Lily is feeling fine, even if the overall prognosis isn’t great, and I wish her and you all the best.

  26. Oh my God!!! I absolutely love chili this time of year, and this recipe sounds delicious. I must try it soon.

  27. Caroline

    Never heard of green chili but this looks amazing! May your November be better than October.

  28. Some recipes just read as delicious and this is one of them. Plus your pictures look so tasty. And I bet this makes great leftovers — the sort of thing that you happily bring to work the following day(s).

  29. Hi, I’m a new blogger (from West Texas, so you’re bound to like me!) and am delighted to find your amazing blog. I am so dang hungry for chili right now I can barely type!! Yummm. and your’s sounds sooo delicious. Guess what we’re havin’ for dinner tonight? YOUR CHILI….
    hugs from Texas,

  30. It just goes to show you that there is a world of right in the bottom of a bowl of chili.

  31. I watch a lot of food programs and chili competitions are always being aired. It seems more and more the green chili category is being introduced and slowly the category is gaining more attention.

    Still the prize money for green chili is still a fraction of that of red chili.

    Forgive my regionality, but how long has green chili been part of the culinary landscape in Texas ( or the US) and why is it not right up there with red chili ?

    Is it a pork vs beef producers thing ?

    Just curious.

  32. Christina at Ramble Magazine

    Hi and thanks for a fantastic recipe! This is the first time I’m here and before I’ve even managed to skim through the site, I have to give you two thumbs up for this chili — green or not.

    If anyone is interested in getting New Mexican spices, you can order from a place called Da Gift Basket ( in Los Lunas, NM. I’ve ordered big bags of green chili powder several times and it has arrived in just a couple of days. Taste is great. They even have frozen hatch chili to ship in 5 lb packages.

    Anyway, time to check out the rest of the site.

  33. nikkipolani

    Thank you for that update on Lily. I wondered how she was doing and am amazed that she doesn’t have cancer. Though Nikki is 19, my vet thought the tumors small enough to be worth removing and extending her life a year. Kisses to Lily.

  34. Mmmm…thin ones are great for slurping and thick ones are great for using those deliciously crispy torillas to scoop up the chunks of meat and veggies. It looks fabulous!

  35. Lisa Fain

    Vanessa–Thanks! I hope y’all like it!

    Rosa–If you’re in love with Tex-Mex, you’ll definitely love this!

    Olivia–Those are three of my favorite foods as well. And consider Lily’s ear scratched. Thank you!

    Henstheeth–Oh yes, stray tortillas are made all the better with some of this chili. Thanks for the tips on “proper” green chili–I’ll have to make it soon.

    Ann–I’m pretty anal, so I always want all my foods to color coordinate and look pretty together.

    Anon–I don’t have a bbq sauce recipe, but my uncle has an excellent one–I’ll ask him for it and post it soon. And I love chiles en nogada. You’re the second person requesting a recipe so I’ll also write something about that soon. As for chile substitutions, I know that they have red hot chiles in Italy–perhaps that might work. Though if you have the space and the inclination, I reckon you could grow chiles as well.

    Cynthia–There’s plenty to go around so here’s a bowl for ya.

    Lisa–I know, there’s just something about the combination of green chiles and pork that works so well. And thanks for your well wishes for Lily.

    Meena–Enjoy! It’s definitely chili season!

    Caroline–Thanks, November is already shaping up to be far superior to October.

    Julie–It makes for excellent leftovers. Matter of fact, I think it tastes better the next day.

    BJ–I’m a big fan of West Texas indeed–hugs back! Hope y’all enjoyed the chili!

    S’Kat–There is indeed! I think that might become my new catch phrase!

    Tommy–I didn’t grow up with green chili, it was more a Mexican or a New Mexican thing whereas Texas Red was our chili standard. They’re two completely different beasts, and since most chili cook-offs follow strict guidelines, I don’t think they should be in competition together.

    Christina–Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to check out that site.

    Nikkipolani–That’s good news! Big hugs for Nikki!

    Susan–Yep, those tortillas help you scoop up every last delicious drop!

  36. Carolyn T

    Your chile recipe has a mind of its own. It’s evolving and changing via CooknKate’s version. I made it yesterday (with less chiles, and it was STILL hot!). But, the stew is absolutely delicious. I wrote it up today on my blog too, with my minor changes. Thanks for your ingenuity!

  37. We’ve made this a couple of times now and it’s a huge hit in our house – to be perfectly honest most of your recipes are. We live in Australia so we don’t have a lot of authentic Mexican or Southern food around so your blog is a god send. We made your Carnitas for 30 people on a camping trip over Easter – very very popular!

  38. This is a great recipe…the taste makes you want to fall to your knees and cry. tortillas is a must…

  39. Dafiloola

    OK, I LOVE this recipe. I used pork chops cut up instead of the pork butt, white onion instead of yellow, and no bear since I can't have gluten. That being said it still came out great and the funniest part is I used non mexican oregano and accidently put in parsley instead of cilantro. (They are both green! LOL) My husband is italian from new orleans and he is calling it Dego Verde. He loved it and so did all his co-workers and the two friends of mine I shared it with. So I'm going to keep to the "mistake" recipe from now on.

  40. Foodiebia

    This is the eighth tab I now have at the top of my browser with one of your recipes. I am going through the archives and can't help but pull out so many recipes that look incredible! Can't wait to try some – hopefully this weekend!

  41. omg…HELP! this gringo can't take the heat! how do i "cool" the fire in my simmering green chili?

  42. Lisa Fain

    Pam–serve it with a lot of sour cream! The heat does die down a bit, however, the longer you cook it.

  43. Thank you, Lisa…i'll give it a try! p.s. Smells divine! 🙂

  44. my family LOVED your green chili and i'm actually making it again today; however, i am intrigued by your friends New Mexico chili. (which was my original google search which led me to your fabulous and now bookmarked blog!) Any chance you could go to the movies with him once again with pen and paper in tow? popcorn's on me! 😉



  45. Anonymous

    Being a New Mexico transplant, NM Green Chile (note the spelling) is well different than the well known Texas Red. If you are unable to get actual NM green chiles (preferably from Hatch or the Mesilla Valley) you can go with Anaheims, which are more readily available.

    Look up versions of this great dish online, try to use fresh chiles and roast them over your gas stove's flame, then peel the skins off and use them. Many variations can be tried, I saute my onions in olive oil, and then throw in white wine to mellow them, many would think this sacrilege (until they taste the end result!).

    There are places that ship NM chile, but the dried red (mature green, actually) is the only economical type to ship. I am leaving NM this August for the opportunities to be had in the great American Midwest, but I will surely miss the great New Mexican and Chihuahuan cuisine I've been greedily eating since '96. I will be shipping NM red chile so I can have proper posole for cold weather and "under the weather" days.

    Chris A

  46. Anonymous

    Made up a great batch of the green chili this past weekend. Amazing! I went full speed on the chiles and thought the heat was very nice.

  47. Robert S

    I have made this green chili recipe several times, including at the deer camp, everyone always love it for lunch-supper-and even at breakfast. Thanks Lisa

    Robert S

  48. Yojak H Vasa

    Great recipe!!! Love it. The second time I smoked the pork butt for a couple hours (~250degrees F) and add it in (without the browning of the meat). And then followed the recipe. It was fantastic, and had a nice smoky flavor in addition to all the great chili flavor.

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