Green Chili Burritos

Audra Loves Green Chili burritos!

Since you always ask for Green Chili Burritos when you come home on visits, I thought I’d tell you how it all started. The first time I ate Mexican food I was 20 years old and visiting a former roommate who had moved  back home to Rocky Ford to get married. Another friend was from the same town and going to visit her family. The two of us traveled by train to Colorado. While there we went out to their favorite Mexican restaurant. I don’t remember what I ate, but I was hooked!

My life long love affair with all things Mexican began in earnest after moving to Colorado in 1966. While living in Fort Collins, I attended Mexican cooking classes with a woman who had lived in Guadalajara, Mexico. From her, I learned all the basics of sauces, chilies, refried beans, cheeses, and how it was all done in Mexico.  This is the recipe she gave us in Lesson 9 of the cooking class.

Chile Verde with Pork Meat

  •  Pieces of pork
  • Tomatillos
  • Green Serrano chilies
  • Cilantro
  • Onion
  • Garlic

Brown lightly the pork meat in heavy skillet, add onion cut into pieces and garlic. Stir all together and fry until dry. Add water, enough to cover the meat. Simmer. Add toasted, peeled tomatillos, green chilies (to taste) and chopped cilantro. Cook slowly until meat is tender and the sauce is thick. Serve as a main meat dish with fresh hot tortillas.

Then the Denver Rocky Mountain News published a recipe whichwas closer to the one served in restaurants. Here is a copy of the much used and stained recipe. The Green Chili we love today, evolved over the years from this one. In Colorado, it is served either in a bowl as a soup or to smother over burritos, topped with cheese, sour cream, lettuce, and tomatoes.

And today we make:

Nonna’s Green Chili Gravy Denver Style

Brown and set aside:

  • 1-2 lbs pork bones
  • 1 lb cubed pork (country style ribs, butt or chops)

In same pan, sauté

  • 1-1/2 cups chopped onions
  • Then add & sauté a few minutes:
  • 3-4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 3-4 minced Serrano chili peppers


  • 3 C chicken broth (or water)*
  • Bones
  • Salt, pepper, cumin

Bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer one hour.  Remove bones, let cool, shred meat

Add & simmer one hour:

  • 1 (or 2) can(s) stewed tomatoes with green chilies
  • 2 cans diced green chilies
  • Pork pieces

Mix ¼ (to ½) C flour with 1 C broth (or water) and stir into sauce.  Simmer till thickened. Adjust seasonings, add more Serrano chilies if necessary. Ladle over bean burritos. Top with cheese, cilantro, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa.

*If neck bones are well browned, water works well.  If you need more flavor, use broth.

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