Salsa Verde

Salsa Verde

This is great served as an appetizer with taco chips, drizzled over eggs and served as a topping for any meat.



1 pound tomatillos – husked and washed

1 large white onion, sliced thickly

4 cloves garlic

2 jalapenos

1/3 bunch cilantro

We like our salsa grill roasted, so everything but the cilantro gets a little time on the grill before hitting the blender.  Give it a zap or two until purified.  Taste for seasoning and adjust a bit if you need to – adding salt and pepper to your preference.

If you don’t have a grill handy you could either use a comal, as they do in Mexico, which is just a simple flat fry pan, or your own favorite fry pan.  Nothing wrong with just blending it all fresh either – try it both ways and see which you like best.

This can be processed in a hot water bath to preserve it for the winter, or put it in the freezer.  Either way works really well. Bring it to a boil on the stovetop prior to processing and use hot jars.  If you do a hot water bath, make sure your jars and seals are all sterilized and the seals are new – place carefully in hot water bath with 2 inches water over top of the jar and process pint jars for 35 minutes.

Mexican Green Rice

I love Mexican rice – for a big fiesta try making both this green (verde) rice along with red (roja) rice.  Want to create the Mexican flag colors in a bowl – make a batch of white (blanco) rice also!

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped white onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 cup chicken broth

3/4 cup Salsa Verde

1 cup long grain white rice

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Over medium heat saute the onions until soft, adding garlic for the last couple of minutes.  Stir in broth and salsa verde.  Add uncooked rice and reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and allow to cook until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and remove lid.  Fluff rice with a fork and cover pot with a tea towel.  This allows the steam to release so your rice will be light and fluffy.

Stir in chopped cilantro.

Pollo Verde y Cerveza or Beer Braised Green Chicken

This is a quick and easy dish – try making enough for a couple of meals and you have filling ready for quesadillas or tacos later in the week.

quick and easy chicken in salsa verde

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 cup chopped white onion

5 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ancho chile powder

1 tsp dried Mexican oregano, crumbled

1/4 tsp salt

1 12 ounce Mexican Beer (I like Dos Equis)

1 11-12 oz can of tomatilloes (or if you have your own salsa verde already made – use that)

1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped

1 pound chicken breast – cut into tenderloins

In heavy sauce pan sauce onion in oil until soft and translucent, add garlic and saute for another couple of minutes.  Add butter, spices and oregano.  Cook and stir just until the butter has melted.

Add beer, tomatillos (or salsa verde) and jalapeno pepper.

Bring broth back to boil, stir in chicken and turn temperature down to allow chicken to simmer.  Cook gently for about 15-20 minutes, just until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken from liquid, and allow liquid to boil until it has reduced and thickened – about another 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat. When chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred it and return it to the liquid mixture.

Absolutely delicious as a taco or quesadilla filling, or served with homemade tortillas, mexican rice and vegetables. 

Pork in Salsa Verde

This is so unbelievably good you will suddenly think … oh no, maybe we should keep it for ourselves and order pizza for the company tonight …. something I hear from my husband regularly … Seriously, not many ingredients, a bit of prep time at the start, and then nothing but relaxing while your kitchen smells so inviting.  

Preheat oven to 350 and get out a heavy bottom saucepan suitable for cook top as well as braising.  Total prep, and cooking time should be about 3 hours – give or take a bit as you like.

SALSA VERDE (Green sauce)                

1 pound tomatillos – husks removed

4 -5 whole serrano chiles (to your taste)

1/2 medium white onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 medium bunch fresh cilantro – tough stems removed

sea salt to taste  (and not much!)


2.2 lbs (1 kg) pork shoulder, or butt, cut into 2″ pieces

1/4 cup flour


oil or lard

Honestly, I don’t often use lard, but in this case I think it just adds such a depth of flavour and gets such a crisp finish on the pork pieces that I think it is worth it.


In a large pot of boiling water bring tomatillos, onions, chiles and garlic back to a boil.  Boil just until tomatillos begin to crack – watch carefully as you don’t want them to fall apart. Once they have started to crack scoop out all ingredients to your blender and reserve the cooking liquid in case you need to thin out your salsa verde.  I like to just leave it sit in my blender at this point to cool down – NEVER blend hot items unless you leave a spot for the steam to escape.

While the tomatillo mixture is cooling – prep your pork.

Toss pork cubes in a bag with flour and salt – shake as much flour off as possible and allow to sit.  In small batches of hot oil or lard (using the same saucepan you boiled the vegetables in) brown pork pieces on all sides, removing to a plate to keep warm while you work with the rest of the pieces.

Pour out the remaining oil or lard – again BE VERY CAREFUL with hot oil or lard.

Now that your tomatillo mixture has cooled down, blend it, adding some of the cooking liquid if you need to so it thins out a bit.  Once you have it blending – push the cilantro down through the lid opening – you want to blend it enough to have a liquid, but not so much you lose the color of the bits of cilantro.  Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.

All chiles are so unique for the heat level – I like to add just 1/2 the whole cooked chile – seeds and all.  Then taste it, and if you like more heat go ahead and add it. IT IS SO MUCH EASIER TO ADD HEAT THAN REDUCE IT!  (Just ask my unsuspecting family – they often get handed a spoonful of something …”Here just taste this” … and then run for something to cool them down.)

Once you are happy with your salsa verde, pour it over the pork and place the whole thing in the oven to cook for at least 2 hours – check it at that point, adding more liquid as necessary and even turn the heat down if you need to.  By the time you eat it (I like to allow 3 hours total) the meat should be melt in your mouth tender and delicious enough for you to also wonder if you should feed your guests pizza…

Our Fathers Day Mexican Fiesta was perfect with this, Spanish Rice, Roasted Cauliflower, Asparagus with lime, feta and almonds, Nationalist Guacamole and Mexican Black Beans. – try it yourself!