RECIPE: Tacos de Chilorio

Think carnitas, but spicy and luxurious. Chilorio is a braised pork from the Mexican state of Sinaloa. The garlic, chiles, and vinegar act as a preservative for the meat which is often served in open air markets, an alternative to refrigeration. The meat is slowly cooked until it falls from the bone and then fried in a chile adobo that packs a flavorful punch. If you make enough of it (in the tradition of preserving the meat) the chilorio accompanies scrambled eggs and fried potatoes the next morning.

Serves 6

Tacos de chilorio


  • 2.5 pounds pork roast, cut into 2 inch pieces

  • 3 tablespoons lard OR vegetable oil

  • 3 ancho chiles

  • 3 guajillos chiles

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 4 garlic cloves

  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 tablespoon vinegar

  • salt to taste

  • radish, sliced in allumettes

  • cilantro

  • fresh tortillas


  1. Place the pork in a large heavy bottomed pot and cover with 4 cups of water and bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to a steady simmer and put the lard in the pot, allowing it to slip off the spoon. Allow the water to evaporate and the meat to caramelize slightly. Shred and break up the meat in bite size pieces.

  2. While the meat cooks, heat a comal over medium heat and toast the chiles. Once fragrant and a darker shade, but not burnt, reconstitute the seeded and deveined chiles in water for 30 minutes.

  3. In a blender combine the chiles, orange juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, vinegar and blend until smooth, with visual red chile skin pieces showing.

  4. Raise the heat on the meat and pour the chile mixture over. Allow the sauce to season the meat for a few minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve the meat on fresh tortillas and garnish with radish, cilantro, and salsa de chile de arbol.