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From the Intrepid vault: Chile Verde Redux

By Marcus | In Recipes | on February 5, 2014

Waaay back in 2011, I posted a fantastic recipe for pork chili verde. Most people that have tried it have become big fans, but Troy said it sure seemed like a lot of work. Now I can admit that it is a little labor intensive, although the flavor is well worth the elbow grease. Troy also mentioned that the ingredients add up, making the dish a little pricy. I look at it like this — it’s cheaper than any version I would get in a restaurant, especially when the control over keeping the ingredients clean is taken into account. That said, I can appreciate a good meal at a bargain and there are times I don’t want to slave in the kitchen.

Sean introduced me to Trader Joe’s carnitas when he posted about his bare-bones pulled pork when he was on the road. Up to that point, I had never tried TJ’s carnitas and didn’t know what I was missing! To quote Sean’s post:

Trader Joe’s Traditional Carnitas is a vacuum sealed, pre-cooked, 12 ounce hunk of pork that can be found in their deli section.

The great thing about these carnitas is that they have a decent amount of fat on them, so they don’t end up dry. This makes them a great approximation to the pork butt roast from the chili verde recipe I mention above.

Today’s recipe is for those short on time and/or funds. The only dish you will dirty while cooking is a crockpot. (You do have one of those, don’t you? If not, go to Target and drop $20 on one — you won’t regret it.)


  • 2 packages of TJ’s carnitas
  • 2 jars of TJ’s salsa verde


  1. Empty all ingredients into the crockpot.
  2. Turn crockpot on low.
  3. Wait about 2 hours until everything is warm and carnitas easily shred with a fork.
  4. Shred carnitas and mix thoroughly with salsa.
  5. Serve.

Each pack of the carnitas is roughly $5 and the salsa is about $2 per jar. Grand total: $14 for anywhere from 2 to 4 servings, depending on who you’re serving.

As you can see, this is really a no-brainer — even for the most kitchen-challenged among you. Give this easy recipe a try, it’s a decent approximation to the “real thing”. Also note, this is a W30 approved dish!

Pro tip: If you want to make an even bigger portion a la Mike K., buy as large a pork shoulder roast as you can fit in your slow cooker, put it on a bed of chopped onions and smother with the salsa verde as above. Let it rip on low and enjoy. (Google around for cooking times based on the size of your roast.)

WOD 02.05.14

Deadlift 1×5
C/O Axle Bar Deadlifts 3×5

Then, for time:
40 Kettlebell Swings
40 Pull Ups
40 Pistols
40 Push Ups

5 Comments to "From the Intrepid vault: Chile Verde Redux"

  • Michelle says:

    February 5, 2014 at 7:12 AM -

    Wow Troy, any other complaints you want to share? Haha. Scott and I love the carnitas from TJs. We microwave it eat it with guac, and add a side of TJs microwaveable Brussel sprouts. Its the easiest, quickest meal ever and really tasty. Ill have to try the carnitas with the salsa verde though. Thanks Marcus!

  • troy says:

    February 5, 2014 at 7:57 AM -

    Hey I was cheep and impatient in my younger years. What can I say.

  • Kathy says:

    February 5, 2014 at 7:58 AM -

    Mike K buys pork shoulder that doesn’t fit in his crock pot, then has to disassemble it. He also uses Jardine’s salsa verde which is bomb and which you can purchase at Ralph’s for an exorbitant price.

  • Mike K says:

    February 5, 2014 at 8:05 AM -

    And by disassembling Kathy means hacking at a bone long enough to have bits flying everywhere…then realizing there is a joint you can cut through. Love this recipe though, you can’t go wrong.

  • Michelle says:

    February 5, 2014 at 11:14 AM -

    Where’s the like button on this thing?

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