notes from the mexican kitchen
Taco Tuesday/

Chilorio Tacos Are the Best Red Chile-Pork Dish You’ll Ever Make

TacoTuesdayLogo_blueI’m going to declare this chilorio one of the best red chile-pork dishes you’ll ever make.

That’s bold, I know — considering our previous #TacoTuesday recipe for tinga poblana — but a home filled with the earthy, citrusy aroma of this northwestern Mexico classic is someplace I want to stay.

We’ll start by making the red chile sauce — a tangy, salty mixture anchored by ancho chiles and enlivened with spices and orange juice. After that, your slow cooker takes over for a few hours (and longer if you have the “keep warm” function.)

Now, you’ll be forgiven for tasting a couple spoonfuls right out of the slow cooker, but to serve a true chilorio means you’ll have to take the extra step of crisping the now-shredded pork in a hot pan.

The result is absolutely one of the best bites you can make on a weeknight.



  • 1 1/2pounds pounds boneless pork shoulder (may be called Boston butt or pork for stew), trimmed of all extraneous fat, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1cup fresh orange juice
  • 4 medium (2 ounces total) dried ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and torn into large pieces
  • 4garlic cloves garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican oregano
  • 1/2teaspoon black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 1/4teaspoon cumin, preferably freshly ground
  • 2tablespoons cider vinegar
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2tablespoons vegetable oil or rich-tasting lard
  • 12 warm corn tortillas


In a blender, combine the orange juice, ancho chile, garlic, oregano, black pepper, cumin, vinegar and 1 ½ teaspoons salt. Blend until smooth. Spread the pork pieces over the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker, then pour the chile mixture through a medium-mesh sieve over the meat. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours, until the meat is fall-apart tender.

Remove meat from the slow cooker, reserve liquid for enchiladas or another sauce. Use a fork and break apart pieces of the pork until all is shredded. Heat a skillet over medium high heat, add oil and place shredded pork into pan. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved liquid, cook for about 4-5 minutes, until pieces start to crisp and brown. Once you have a nice char, place on a warm tortilla and top with radish matchsticks, crispy onions and cilantro leaves and enjoy.




  1. This recipe sounds pretty amazing but curious why you would need to sieve the chili mixture before putting it over the meat?

    1. Larry-we like to strain the mixture through the sieve to catch all of the chile skins. It also makes the sauce really smooth and delightful. Sometimes the skins can be an unpleasant addition to the sauce, so we remove them.

  2. You mentioned reserving the liquid from this Chilorio Tacos recipe for enchiladas or another sauce but did not include that enchilada sauce recipe. Do you have one in mind?

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