Gaucho Chili Verde

This recipe has nothing really to do with Argentinian Cowboys (Gauchos) except for the fact that UCSB's Basketball team made it to the Big West finals last Saturday and we don't get to celebrate sports very often.  UCSB is most known in sports for throwing tortillas at games, not winning them.  We decided at the last minute to have some friends to cheer them on over and make a big pot of Chili Verde.

This is a great dish for entertaining because it is A) relatively inexpensive B) can sit on the stove for hours and be served from its cooking vessel C) is freaking delicious.  We served it with some Mexican rice, a black bean salad, tortillas, and a bunch of fixin's... beer too, obviously.  This is a crowd of Gauchos after all.

The Verde (green, in Spanish) must have brought out the luck of the Irish because UCSB triumphed over Long Beach State and we're going to March Madness!  We're going to need a lot more than luck this Friday the 19th, unfortunately, to make it past Ohio State who is favored by 17 points.  We may need a truck full of tortillas too.


The recipe was adapted from Joanne Weir's recipe Slow Braised Pork in her book Tequila.  Among other changes, we omitted the tequila because there were some pregnant ladies running around.  Feel free replace a 1/2 cup of water with a 1/2 cup of tequila

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2 large pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 cups chopped tomatillos (fresh or canned)
  • 2 cups water
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Make sure it is one that you have a lid for.  Season the pork well with salt and pepper.  Add the pork to the pot and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes total.  Remove the pork from the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeños.

Cook everything, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 10 to 12 minutes.  Add the garlic, cumin, and oregano tomatillos, water, and pork and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, until the pork is very tender, about 1-2 hours. 

Take the lid off, remove the pork, increase the heat to medium, and simmer until the sauce thickens.  Shred the pork with a pair of forks and add it back to the pot.  Served with warmed corn tortillas and accoutrement like sour cream, chopped cilantro, hot sauce, avocado, chopped scallions, and diced onions. 
AuthorDave and Amy Koch