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Denver Chili #livewithfrank

September 18, 2017 | Frank Bonanno

This photo is of the green chili (and it is spelled with an “i” not an “e”, I looked) burger we used to have at Lou’s. Be looking for Lou’s Hot & Naked, but in the meantime, here’s a solid chili recipe.

Denver Green Chili #LivewithFrank

Serves 4 and more


2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds pork, cubed to ½ inch

1 T salt

1 t pepper

1½ t dried oregano

2 large yellow onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups roasted green chiles, diced

2 large cans diced tomatoes

1 ½ cups tomatillo salsa

2 cup chicken broth, plus 6 cups more

2 T corn flour (or 1 corn tortilla)

A note: Because I live in Denver, chiles are readily available, fresh from Hatch and roasted on stands all over town. If you don’t have access to such bounty, you can roast any sweet chile yourself, or roughly five cans of roasted green chiles should suffice.

Another note: Both the chicken broth and the pork could be skipped here. Seriously. It’s  a delicious iteration to just cook all of these ingredients together and then puree them. Freeze for later use, or just smother those breakfast eggs right up.

A final note: Rick Bayless makes his own tomatillo salsa, and his recipe works.

Tools Large cast iron Dutch oven, wooden spoon, blender, ladle


  1. Turn stove top flame to high. When pan is screaming hot, add olive oil and reduce temperature to medium. Toss the cubed pork in the oil and add spices. Give a quick stir, then add onions and garlic. Cook, turning from time to time so the onions on the bottom don’t burn, until onions caramelize and pork is browned up nicely on each side, about fifteen minutes.
  2. Add 2 cup of the chicken broth to deglaze any juicy bits of pork from the bottom of the pan, scraping and stirring until the broth comes up to a bubble–about five minutes–then add green chiles, tomatoes, salsa and remaining broth. Cook another half hour on medium—or slow it down and cook on low for an hour and a half. This way the house fills with that great autumn aroma.
  3. About 10 minutes before your chili is finished, remove 3 cups of chunky broth to the blender. Try not to capture any of the pork cubes, but no harm if you do. Puree in the blender with the corn starch or tortilla until smooth, then return to the pot.

To Serve The first batch should just be enjoyed in bowls topped with a heap of grated cheese and a side of corn tortillas. This chili freezes well, but honestly, in my house, what with using as an egg-poaching medium and dumping onto burgers or pouring over something wonderful from the toaster oven and whatnot, it doesn’t last long enough to do so.