Chilorio in a large serving dish.

5 from 1 reviews

Spicy and smokey, chilorio is Mexican pork in chile sauce. Cumin and orange juice give it an unexpected flavor punch that’s perfect for tacos.


  • 1.8 pounds pork shoulder, with a little bit of fat and cut into large chunks
  • 3 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 small white onion, quartered
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Water, for boiling
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 chile ancho, seeded and stemmed
  • 3 chile pasilla, seeded and stemmed
  • 3 chile guajillo, seeded and stemmed
  • 3 medium size garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lard
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar


Boil the pork. Add the pork shoulder, orange juice, white onion, oregano, cumin, and bay leaves into a large stockpot. Pour in enough water to cover the pork completely. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the pork continue simmering for 40 minutes and up to an hour. Check back every 20 minutes to make sure it still has enough liquid. If it’s not fully covered anymore, add more water accordingly. Once ready, transfer the pork into a bowl and reserve the cooking liquid.

Rehydrate the chiles. Bring some water to a boil in a separate saucepan. Place the ancho, pasilla, and guajillo chiles in a heat-proof bowl. Pour boiling water over the chiles until they are completely covered and let them rest for 15 minutes. Set them aside.

Blend the sauce. Drain the chiles and reserve their cooking liquid. Transfer them to blender with the garlic and sugar. Blend until you get a smooth mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the chiles’ cooking liquid until you reach the desired consistency. It should be relatively thick, not watery. Set the sauce aside.

Sear the pork. In the same pot you boiled the pork in, melt the lard over medium-high heat. Add the chunks of pork into the pot and sear them for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and use two forks to shred the pork by pulling the meat apart in opposite directions.

Cook it. Add the shredded pork back into the same pot over medium heat. Strain the chile sauce over the pork and discard the pulp. Stir until well combined. Add the white vinegar and mix until well combined. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 25 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Final touches. Season with more salt, pepper, oregano, and cumin to taste. Serve with corn or flour tortillas, refried beans, and red rice. Enjoy.

Keywords: pork in chile sauce, braised pork, authentic Mexican recipes