notes from the mexican kitchen

Slow Cooker Simplicity

Twenty-five years ago, the first time I spent any appreciable time in Puebla, I fell in love with crusty submarine-like tortas filled with spicy, chipotle-smoky shredded pork layered with the local Mexican_darkblueLogo_POST_170x177fresh cheese and intensely flavored avocados. The same crowd-pleasing filling is welcome in soft tacos, too, as you might imagine. Or just served on it’s own like you would a bowl of chili.  The flavor of tinga appeals to practically everyone everywhere.


Recipe from Season 7, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 4to 6


  • 1tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 pound lean, boneless pork shoulder, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4ounceschorizo sausage, removed from its casing
  • 4 to 5medium (about 3/4 pound total) red-skinned potatoes, quartered
  • 1large white onion, sliced 1/4–inch thick
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 128-ounce can diced tomatoes, in juice (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 2 to 3canned chipotle chiles en adobo, finely chopped
  • 4teaspoons chipotle canning sauce
  • 1tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1/2teaspoondried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • Salt
  • About 1/2cup crumbled Mexican queso fresco or other fresh cheese like salted pressed farmers cheese
  • 1avocado, pitted, flesh scooped from the skin and diced
  • Warm corn tortillas


If your slow cooker has an insert that can go on the stovetop, heat the oil in it over medium-high heat.  (If it cannot go on the stove or you do not have a removable insert heat the oil in a very large (12-inch) non-stick skillet.) Once the oil is very hot, add the pork and chorizo in a single layer and cook, stirring until the meat has browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and place the insert into your slow cooker (if you’re using a skillet, transfer the meat and its juices into the slow cooker). Add the potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes with their liquid, chipotles, chipotle sauce, Worcestershire, oregano and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir to mix thoroughly. Cook at the highest temperature.

The tinga will be finished after 6 hours at the highest temperature, though you can hold it for longer.  (My slow-cooker can be programmed to switch from high after 6 hours to a keep-warm low temperature for up to another 6 hours. Some slow cookers click to keep-warm automatically; others need to be switched manually.)

After six hours, gently stir the tinga. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in a little water. Taste, and season with salt if you think the dish needs it. Scoop into a large bowl, sprinkle with the fresh cheese and diced avocado, and serve with warm tortillas.


  1. Rick,
    I have been looking for a slow cooker recipe like this one ! Thanks for posting this.
    I’m going to make it soon. I enjoy your show everyday out here in Calif. ….I watch
    you so much I think I know you…….Best, Chileman

  2. Mexican food is my favorite crusine and I use a lot of your recipes. I enjoy the episodes when your daughter cooks with you. Keep the new recipe’s

    1. Absolutely! But I would make cook smaller pieces of pork (and thus a shorter amount of time probably). Enjoy!

  3. Valentine’s Day and the north Texas weather reports are forecasting possible sleet and snow. This sounds like the perfect meal for a cold winter day.
    Thanks for sharing it.

  4. Rick, I have been a fan of yours since the first time I watched you on my local PBS station. Well my Lovey wife Kirsten and her mother suprised me with lunch reservations to your restaurant in Chicago. I had a fantastic time! The food, the service were outstanding! I think the only thing better would’ve been the chance to meet you sir. Maybe next time.

  5. If you would rather not make this in a crock pot, can we use an enamel coated cast iron 7 quart pot instead? If so, what would be the recommended oven temperature and time?



    1. Hello Andrew,
      we have not tested this recipe outside of a slow cooker so I cannot give you exact times and tempteratures but I would get 325 degrees for a minimum of three hours and keep checking until the meat is tender and shredding


  7. Hi Frontera Family,
    I made this wonderful dish with one little difference. I already had some precooked shredded pork and figured ,why not? The Tinga turned out wonderful and we served it on the corn tortillas

  8. Will you tell me which brand of slow cooker Rick Bayless uses at home, he can cook on stove top with the insert. I want one like his. Thanks for help, Roseanna

    1. Rick uses a Tru and an All-Clad. Both have cast iron inserts that are oven safe (Generally the ceramic inserts are not – always check before using on your stove!)

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