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Green Chili Burro

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I lived in Phoenix AZ a total of 24 years and during that time I found what the local restaurants call a Green Chili Burro.
I have also lived and worked in 48 states and the only ones who have them is either in Arizona, Western New Mexico or Southern California.
I am now retired in Northwest Washington State.

I have searched the internet for recipes and have found that none of them taste the same.
I have also written to many Mexican restaurants and either did not receive a reply or was told that they could not give out the recipe.

I am now going around to blogs/forums dealing with Mexican foods hoping that someone would have the actual recipe from one of the restaurants.
Its not like I am going trying to compete with them since I live along way from those areas and only wish to serve it in my own household.
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I think the difference is that back in the day, people mostly made 'the green' with pork: lard, bacon drippings, and pork stock. Now, you mostly see people making it with chicken stock and vegetable oil for 'health'. 


You'll want to make a green chile sauce from either flame-roasted, peeled and seeded fresh chiles or from a tub of frozen green chile -buy Hatch (generic location source) or Bueno brand.  There's a recipe on the tub of Bueno green chile. Here's a link to a recipe, the only flaw I see in it is that I learned to use peeled, grated raw potato (red) as a thickener, not flour.  If you want to use potato as a thickener, saute the herbs/spices and onion/garlic in the oil until the onion is soft, then add the stock, grated potato, and chile and simmer for about 20 minutes to cook the potato. Use olive oil, you can taste the difference -although bacon grease is also classic, especially if using pork stock.


To make a bowl of stew, add some diced carrot, a little thin-cut celery, diced peeled tomato (canned is ok), corn, diced potato, and maybe some cubed meat/chicken.


One notable commercially made sauce is a new product I just tasted at Costco, although it may just be regional, is 'Stinking Good' made in CO. They have a very tasty lineup, no idea if it meets your parameters.


If the sauce tastes 'right' to you, migas are a great way to enjoy it. Just heat up some tortilla chips in a pan, push to one side, make scrambled eggs, mix, plate, and top with chile sauce and maybe some cheese/sour cream.


Hope this helps! (I'm a former NM resident.)

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Someone on another forum I read asked for a recipe for chile verde. It's a Kansas Jayhawk sports forum so I go into more details than I would on a cooking forum. I used to manage a Mexican restaurant in Lawrence and this is fairly close to what we were serving. 


I like to use pork shoulder for this, I think it has better flavor than loin. It will take longer to cook and it does have some more fat in it. You can probably get country style pork ribs. But make sure they are from the shoulder also called the butt. Trim them off of the bone and trim away any large pieces of fat.

I use an enameled cast iron Dutch oven for this. It’s heave and works very well for long, slow cooks. If you don’t have one, get your heaviest Dutch oven. It will hold heat well and help prevent scorching. 

2+ Lbs diced pork
Olive oil
1 onion
3 or so cloves of garlic
A ton of roasted, peeled and diced green chiles (some hatch chiles are very hot, the ones I got this year are not. Dice up a couple of serranos if you need more heat)
Salt and pepper
Spice mix of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, cumin, and oregano (Mexican if you have it, use Mexican oregano very sparingly, strong stuff.)
Chicken stock. Homemade is best, a box of Swanson’s is fine.
Heat Dutch oven over medium heat.
Once the pork is trimmed and diced into bite sized pieces, give it S&P, be generous. Toss in some flour. 
Add some olive oil to the pan, coat the bottom and then add the pork. Don’t crowd, if you do, the pork won’t brown. It may take two or three batches.
Once the pork is browned, remove from the pan. Lower heat Add onions and chiles. Sir this and scrape up the brown bits (fond) from the bottom of the pot. Keep cooking until the onions start to clear, then add your garlic and spices. Probably a tablespoon of each except if you are using Mexican oregano. If you’re using that, just half a teaspoon and crunch it up in your hands before you add it. 
Stir, stir, stir for a minute or so. You don’t want the garlic to burn.
You may need to add a touch more oil, then add a couple of tablespoons of flour and stir some more. For about a minute. 
Add chicken stock and the meat back in along with any juices. Stir until smooth. Turn heat down to low and cover. Cook until pork is very tender, could be an hour or so. Stir to make sure it’s not sticking/burning. Add more stock/water if necessary.
You can add some more spices towards the end and check for salt. If it isn’t thick enough, get a cup of water and whisk some flour into it. Make sure the chile verde is at a gentle boil/ simmer and stir the slurry in. Stir, stir, stir. Let is simmer for about 10 minutes to cook the flour. 

I like to serve it with rice.


ETA Yikes, sorry about the highlighting.

Edited by chileheadmike (log)

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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I too am a former NM resident but never in all the years I lived there did I hear of a "burro." There were green chile burritos (in a flour tortilla) and there was a "bowl of green," which essentially is a green chile stew, typically making a rich broth from long simmered pork and chile, often with potatoes. 


Describe what you are calling a "burro," would you? Maybe it's something people in AZ say? A "bowl of green" would be chile verde, somewhat like the recipe above, although we never used to add flour to the broth; the potatoes, added about an hour before the chile is done, has a thickening effect. 

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Hi Lisa,

First let me say I was in Phoenix two years ago and did manage to get to the Mexican Restaurant that I've always liked
and had a Green Chili Burro.  The taste has not changed from what it was when I lived there, so I do not believe that the
method of making them has changed to any great degree.

I will try the recipe that you linked to and see if it would be what I am looking for after adding pork to it.

I do have several recipes for green chili stew which I got from a couple of Mexican restaurants in Colorado when I worked there.
While a great stew, it is not what I am looking for.

Hi Mike,
I do have several great Chili Verde recipes but they are not the same as a Green Chili Burro.

Also, you can get Chili Verde at Mexican restaurants all across the US.


By the way, the recipe you gave is not really a Chili Verde as it does not  call for Tomatillos  which are needed when making Chili Verde.




Hi Katie,

From Wikipedia;

The word burrito means "Little Donkey" in Spanish, being the diminutive form of Burro, or  "Donkey".


So a Green Chili Burro would be made with a much larger flour tortilla then a burrito would use.

As I explained to Mike above, Chili Verde and Green Chili Burro are two different things.


Edited by jackie40503 (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Update! I just picked up a copy of the 'Arizona Cookbook' my copy is ©1983, it was originally published in 1974. Anyway, it has two recipes for 'Green Chile Burros' separate from burritos. I was not previously aware of the distinction, which appears to begin with cutting up an entire previously cooked 'small' roast beef and making a stewpot full of a mixture which becomes the filling for a burrito. @jackie40503 I am wondering if this is what you were looking for?

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  • 4 months later...
6 hours ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

"Chili" is the dish made with beef and beans, "chile" is what you call poblanos or serranos.

Except when you live somewhere where they don't. :P Even English language spellcheck isn't inclined to agree. I always use "chile" when warranted according to the criteria I'm familiar with, which is in agreement with what you said, and spellcheck invariably isn't happy about it. 

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Sometimes I think spellcheck causes a lot of misunderstanding. I use it with a large grain of salt. Most of the time I know I'm misspelling the word but I don't know how to fix it. Spellcheck to the rescue! But it has gotten me into trouble more than once. So all we can do is correct spellcheck and hope that it "learns." Some programs do incorporate corrected spellings into their dictionaries.


In any case, I'm off to make the chile verde recipe that chileheadmike posted upthread. Sometimes I like to add a can of white hominy to the stew for a little visual interest. And served with tortillas, or if I'm feeling heretical, corn bread.


Nancy Pátzcuaro

Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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I hope the link below will work, I am not a pro at posting on eGullet.  It should take you to a Google Books page view from the El Charro Cafe Cookbook. It is their recipe for Carne Verde, that they use as a filling for burros, among other things. El Charro has been owned by the same family since 1922 and serve amazing food. They are located in Tucson and should always be visited when driving through! 😋    Not a single tomatillo is harmed in the making.  😉


https://books.google.com/books?id=mRMKrvTcCC8C&pg=PA140&lpg=PA140&dq=el+charro+cafe+carne+verde&source=bl&ots=mDowp9cfoS&sig=ACfU3U0IV1Gyx_IUCghRfFKITFfXiBBk-Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjr0oOo5cjgAhUm6oMKHWLDB1wQ6AEwN3oECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=el charro cafe carne verde&f=false

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"There are no mistakes in bread baking, only more bread crumbs"

*Bernard Clayton, Jr.

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