Authentic Colorado Green Chili

Authentic Colorado green chili is based on pork, lots of green chili peppers and masa harina – a traditional Mexican flour.  In fact there’s 4 pounds of Anaheim and jalapeno chili peppers in this recipe. Fire roasting the Anaheims and pork butt to start the cooking adds a rich flavor that only comes from cooking over live coals.  Using the smoker to cook the chili low ‘n slow is as hands off as it gets plus lets the flavors blend with a smoky finish.

Authentic Colorado green chili

  • 6 pounds boneless pork butt
  • 4 pounds (20-24) Anaheim peppers
  • 6 jalapeño peppers
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 onions chopped fine
  • 8 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup masa harina (Mexican flour)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • Cayenne pepper to taste
  • Coarse salt to taste

Arrange Anaheims and jalapeños in single layer over coals that are mostly ashed over. Watch closely rotating the peppers until they’re mostly blackened and soft – about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the peppers, place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to cool.

Cut the pork butt into large chunks. Place over the coals just long enough to start to brown. Turn over so that all sides are evenly browned. Remove, let cool and cut into cubes.

Browning the pork butt over coals adds flavor

Browned pork cut into cubes










Heat smoker to 325 degrees. Put a cast iron Dutch oven inside to start pre-heating.

I strongly recommend wearing gloves for this next step. Rub the skin off of the cooked Anaheims. It should come off easily and you can use a paring knife for any bits that don’t.

Chop half of the Anaheims into ½-inch pieces and set aside.

Pulse the remaining Anaheims in food processor about 10 seconds until smooth and add to the chopped Anaheims.

Remove stems and seeds form the jalapeños and chop into 1/2 inch pieces.

Mince the onions and garlic cloves.

Pulse tomatoes and their juice in now-empty food processor about 4-6 pulses.

Anaheims, jalapeños, onion, garlic and tomatoes prepped

Put oil in preheated Dutch and heat until it shimmers. Add onions and brown for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin. Stir and cook about 30 seconds until fragrant. Mix in masa flour and cook for 1 more minute.

Oil, onion, cumin, garlic and masa flour

Stir in chicken broth, Anaheims, jalapeños, and tomatoes.

Tomatoes, broth and peppers added

Add pork and mix in completely. Bring to simmer, scraping up any browned bits. Cover pot and close smoker.

Pork added and mixed in

Cook until pork is tender, 2 to 21/2 hours. Check occasionally and add more broth if needed. Season to taste with cayenne pepper and Kosher salt. Garnish with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Ready to serve

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