RECIPE: Puerco en Chile Colorado

This family recipe hails from the northern states of Mexico (Chihuaha, Coahuila, Durango) and is often seen on many restaurant menus in the US. The cuisine of The North is much like the climate where the ingredients come from - sparse and simple. The simplicity of the northern gastronomy is refreshing, and lends itself to a non-complicated cooking style allowing for more exploration with meat cuts, ingredients etc. Feel free to improvise with meat cuts - spare ribs would be excellent! 



Submerge the chiles in water and bring to a boil, lowering the temp to a slow simmer for 10 minutes.

Cooking time: approximately 1 hour, 15 minutes


  • 7 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 puya chiles
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lard
  • 1.5lbs of boneless pork, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced avocado

Tortillas de harina en comal.


  1. Toast the chiles on a comal over medium height, until they are fragrant and a darker shade of brown. Don't let them burn, as the entire dish will have a bitter taste. 
  2. Submerge the chiles in water and bring to a boil, lowering the temp to a slow simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the chiles and put into a blender with the garlic, oregano, cumin and 1 cup of water. Blend until smooth.
  3. While the chiles simmer, heat the lard in a large pot (I prefer cast iron) over medium-high heat and once smoking, sear the meat in batches (so as not to cool the pan) until the meat is browned. Add all the pork back to the pan. Lower the heat and sprinkle the flour over the meat, stirring constantly so that the flour doesn't burn.
  4. Raise the heat to medium and place a mesh strainer over the pot. Pour the blended chile mixture over the meat, straining out any thick chili skin pieces. Remove the strainer and pour 3 cups of water into the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Lower to low-medium and let the sauce cook for 1 hour or until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Garnish with sliced avocado. Serve with flour tortillas, beans and rice.