Recipe: Pueblo Green Chili

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Recipe: Pueblo Green Chili

A southern transplant’s take on a Pueblo classic. This recipe has been respectfully adapted from various sources in Pueblo, from abuelitas to restaurateurs. All quantities are approximate, so please use what feels right to you. This dish takes time, so slow down and have some fun!

Ingredients for shredded pork
  • 2-4 lb pork shoulder 
  • Braising liquid (water, stock, broth, cider)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 3 bay leaves 
  • 2 tbsp lard or avocado oil 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients for green chili
  • 3 cups roasted and chopped Pueblo chile
  • 1 yellow onion, diced and sauteed 
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped and sauteed 
  • 1-14.5 oz can chopped tomatoes (roasted if possible)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp white pepper 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Season pork shoulder with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven, heat oil on medium high heat and brown all sides of the pork shoulder. Remove the pork shoulder and turn heat down to medium; add chopped yellow onion to remaining oil/fat and cook for 5-6 minutes (make sure to add a pinch of salt once the onions begin to look translucent), then add garlic for the remaining two minutes. Add liquid (this recipe used a local hard cider from Apple Valley Cider Company in Penrose, CO) and scrape remaining fond (the browned bits leftover in the pot from sauteeing the pork). Place pork shoulder back into the pot. Add enough liquid to almost cover the pork shoulder. Cover and place the dutch oven in the oven at 225 degrees to braise for 3-6 hours, or until the pork pulls apart easily (a larger pork shoulder will take longer). Once the pork is done, remove it from the pot and shred. Cover the pork and set it aside. Remove the remaining braising liquid and save for later. Find the 3 bay leaves and discard them. 

In the dutch oven, sautee the second chopped yellow onion with one tablespoon of butter for 5-6 minutes (make sure to add a pinch of salt once the onions begin to look translucent), then add garlic for the remaining two minutes. Remove the onion and garlic and add it to the chopped and roasted green chili. Take ⅔ of the onion/garlic/green chile and blend. Add water/stock/broth to get to sauce-like consistency if needed. 

In an empty dutch oven, add 2 tbsp of butter and melt on medium heat. Once melted, add 4 tablespoons of flour to make roux; stirring constantly. Once the roux thickens and you can smell the flour, add remaining ingredients: blended onion/garlic/green chile, sauteed/roasted onion/garlic/green chile, can of diced tomatoes, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1 tsp white pepper, shredded pork, and reserved braising liquid. Add additional water/stock/broth as desired for more soup-like consistency. Cover and let simmer for at least 30 minutes, or for the rest of the day, if you prefer. 

Grab a bowl and fill it with green chili. Add cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Some people like adding a dollop of sour cream. Eat it like soup, or you can use it to cover a basket of fries or smother some nachos. This green chili is versatile.