Green Pork Chili

I’m always late to the party.  Would it have been nice of me to share this pork and green chili recipe with you last week?  You know…before that little football game, otherwise known as the Super Bowl?


But I’m still getting this whole organization thing down–and let’s face it, chili is appropriate any day of the week.

Green Pork Chili Ingredients

I actually had a really good excuse this time too.  You see, I got my first Besh Box early last week and I really, really wanted to share it with you guys.

If you’re unfamiliar with it (I was oblivious to its existence more than a month ago), it is basically one of those monthly subscription boxes.  But this one revolves around my favorite thing in the world: food.

Green Pork Chili in Pot

It was created by John Besh, the well-known chef and restauranteur from New Orleans, and each box is filled with recipes, tools, specialty ingredients, and cooking inspiration revolving around a monthly theme.  To be expected, this month’s theme was the big game.

I was given a subscription from my in-laws for Christmas–and became incredibly giddy last week when I arrived home from work and was greeted with my first box.  It was filled with everything from a beautiful, handcrafted pot scoop, cook’s towel, jalapeño corer (never would have bought this myself, but oh so thankful to own one), cornmeal, arugula seeds, Mexican oregano, heirloom cannelini beans, to–wait for it–a really cute football ice mold.

Pork Butt with Tomatillos

I’m a total newbie when it comes to subscription boxes, but I was really impressed.  Plus, I love mail and it felt like Christmas Day all over again.

So, this weekend, I went to the grocery store (armed with my handy dandy pre-made shopping list–if only someone would always create those for me!) and got the ingredients for this Pork & Green Chili.  Unlike red chilis, the first step in this recipe involves making the base, which comprises of pureed sautéed onions, tomatillos, garlic, and cumin,  cilantro and chicken broth.

The next step calls for browning diced pork shoulder, before adding chopped poblano and Anaheim peppers, oregano, dried cannelini beans, and the pureed tomatillo-broth mixture.   Although the original recipe called for a cook time of an hour and a half–I found that this wasn’t nearly enough time and ended up braising the chili for nearly four hours.

Green Pork Chili in Bowl

Definitely not a week-day friendly recipe, but the long cook time helps make the pork extra tender–and provides the beans with a much better texture.  Short cook times and chili don’t mix.

The resulting chili is creamy and thick, smoky, a little citrusy (from the tomatillos), and has just the right amount of kick.  The chunks of tender pork and beans throughout make it extra special.  If you are lucky enough to find Mexican crema and cotija cheese, pile them on top!

Or feel free to go the easier route and finish it with lots of lime, grated sharp cheddar, cilantro, and sour cream.  Can’t wait for my next box!

Green Pork Chili

Green Pork Chili

Yield: 6-8 Servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours


  • 4 tablespoons, rendered bacon fat (or pork belly fat)
  • 1 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 4 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 2 large white onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 quarts (48 ounces) low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  • 1 jalapeño roasted, seeded and skinned and finely chopped (see below)
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder, diced into 3/4″ cubes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 poblano peppers, seeded and diced
  • 2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup dried heirloom beans (cannelini or other small white beans), rinsed
  • black pepper
  • kosher salt


  • fresh lime wedges
  • sour cream
  • sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • cilantro leaves


  1. Roast the jalapeño over an open flame (using a gas burner) or in the broil until blackened on all sides.  Place in a bowl, cover, and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Peel, seed, and finely chop.  Set aside.
  2. In a heavy Dutch oven or soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.  Add the tomatillos and cumin, and cook over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, scallions, and onion, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Add the chicken broth, cilantro, and roasted jalapeño, and continue to cook over medium heat for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Remove and blend (in stages) until smooth.  Reserve and set aside.
  5. Season diced pork shoulder with salt and pepper.  Return pot to high heat and add the remaining bacon fat.  Add the pork shoulder (in 2 to 3 stages, to prevent overcrowding) and brown on all sides–set browned meat aside on a plate as you work.
  6. Once all of the meat has been browned, return it to the pot.  Add the oregano, poblano, and Anaheim, and dried beans.  Stir in the tomatillo mixture and remaining chicken stock.
  7. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a very low simmer.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3 to 4 hours, or until pork and beans are tender.
  8. Season soup with salt and pepper, finish with fresh lime juice, and serve with cilantro, sour cream, and grated sharp cheddar cheese.


Recipe and method adapted lightly from John Besh’s Besh Box recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 511Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 366mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 9gProtein: 32g

A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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