Chilorio: Authentic Recipe From Sinaloa

This Chilorio Recipe is the ultimate comfort dish from northern Mexico. Made with a scrumptious chile sauce, this pork stew is perfect to stuff in burritos and tacos!

Chilorio served on a bowl and some Mexican chiles scattered around.

What is Chilorio?

Chilorio is a traditional dish from Sinaloa, a northern Mexican state. Is made by frying shredded pork and then cooking it in a sauce prepared with spices and Mexican chiles.

This flavorful pork stew is used mostly to stuff in burritos and tacos, but can also be served as a main dish with a side of frijoles puercos and the traditional tortillas de harina.

The traditional recipe is very popular not only in Sinaloa but also in other northern states, such as Sonora, Durango, Chihuahua, and Baja California.

In those states, it is pretty common to find this dish sold by weight at local markets or in its canned version at any supermarket throughout the country.

A close-up of Mexican chilorio on a plate.

However, making this traditional dish at home is not as difficult as you think.

The recipe is pretty straightforward because the real deal is to use authentic Mexican ingredients which are now easy to find in many countries.

What types of chiles to use?

You can use guajillo chiles, pasilla or ancho chiles to make the adobo sauce used in this recipe. Although I prefer using a mix of each for a flavored dish.

But also other chilies work perfectly for making the recipe, such as California, mulato, or puya.

Outside Mexico, you can find those types of chiles at Mexican food stores (online or local) and on Amazon.

If you live in Europe, leave a comment below or send me an email and I’ll share with you my favorite online stores where I buy those chilies.

Cutting Mexican chilies with kitchen shears.

How To Make Chilorio

*Find the full ingredients list below in the recipe card.

Cook and shred the meat:

Place the pork meat in a braising pan. Add enough water to cover for about 2 inches (5cm), and then add salt, and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil and then set the heat to medium-low and cover the pan.

Pork meat in a pot with water, salt, and bay leaves.

Allow to simmer until the meat is very tender, this will take from 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Make sure the meat is always covered with liquid, if needed, add more water. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups of the remaining cooking water.

Cooked pork meat for chilorio recipe.

Remove the meat from the pan and shredded it while is still hot using 2 forks or an electric mixer (read notes).

Shredded pork meat on a deep plate.

Make the chile sauce:

  • Clean the chilies removing the stem and seeds, then place them in a bowl.
  • Pour over hot water to cover them and let them soak for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer chilies to a blender and add garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cumin seeds, a bit of salt, and peppercorns.
  • Pour in the vinegar and 1 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Blend for a couple of minutes or until you will have a smooth sauce.
Chile adobo sauce for chilorio on a blender.

Make the stew

In a medium cooking pan melt and heat lard over medium-high heat. Add shredded meat and fry for about 5 minutes while stirring constantly.

Fried shredded pork meat in a pan.

Pour over the chili sauce, mix well and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until you’ll see there’s almost no liquid left.

Cooking pork chilorio with chile sauce on a pan.
The meat with chile sauce.
Chilorio cooked on a pan.
After 10 minutes.

Adjust salt to taste, turn off the heat and serve as suggested below or store for later.

Recipe Notes

  • For the best flavor, use pork cuts with some fat on them, such as pork shoulder or butt.
  • Allow the meat to cook until almost falls apart. This is the key to shredding it with the minimum effort and getting the right texture of this dish.
  • To speed-up things, shred the meat using an electric mixer, just place the meat in a bowl and use the mixer at low speed until nicely shredded.
  • The right texture of this dish is almost dry, so allow the sauce to evaporate the liquid very well.
  • Some recipes make use of orange juice, but the authentic recipe from Sinaloa is made with vinegar.
  • You can substitute cumin seeds with 1 teaspoon of ground cumin.

How To Serve

For an authentic Mexican eating experience, you can eat chilorio stuffed in burritos or gorditas.

Or you can also make tacos or tostadas with homemade corn tortillas with your favorite toppings and salsas.

Try this delicious stew stuffed in bolillo rolls with some pickled onions and pico de gallo salsa.

Or, serve as a main with refried beans on the side, or this aromatic arroz blanco. Place some warm flour tortillas on the table and dig in!

How To Store And Reheat

This Chilorio recipe lasts for up to 5 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container. Or you can also freeze it for up to 3 months.

I like to make a double batch of this recipe and then divide it into resealable bags and freeze it. This way I can have it ready for when I crave burritos or tortas!

Leftovers can be also used to make other dishes like tamales rojos or fried quesadillas. So it’s worth making a double batch for those busy days.

For reheating, place the stew in a pan and reheat on the stove over medium heat stirring constantly. Or reheat in the microwave in 1-minute intervals.

Chilorio in a resealable bag labeled and ready to freeze.

Similar Recipes

  • Pork and nopales stew. Made with nopales cactus and tender pork meat.
  • Pork ribs adobo. Those tender ribs get so flavored and the meat practically falls off the bone!
  • Adobada tacos. Best street tacos ever served with cebollitas, salsa, and cilantro.
Chilorio recipe.

Authentic Chilorio Recipe

author Maricruz
Chilorio is a scrumptious northern Mexican dish made with shredded pork simmered in a delicious chili sauce with spices.
prep 15 minutes
cook 50 minutes
total 1 hour 5 minutes
serving 6

Ingredients 

For the meat

  • 2.2 lb pork shoulder (cut into small cubes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • water (as needed)
  • cup lard

For the sauce

  • 5 guajillo chilies
  • 1 ancho chili
  • 1 ½ cups cooking water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • salt (to taste)

Instructions
 

Cook & shred the meat

  • Place the pork meat, bay leaf, and a good pinch of salt into a pot.
  • Cover with 2 inches/5 cm of water and bring to a simmer.
  • Cook the meat over medium-low heat until nicely tender (45-60minutes)
  • Remove meat from the pan and shredded it with two forks or with an electric mixer.

Make the sauce

  • Clean the chilies and place them in a bowl, cover them with hot water and let them soak for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer chiles to a blender, add garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, a bit of salt and peppercorns.
  • Pour in vinegar and 1 ½ cup of the cooking water. Blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce.

Make the chilorio

  • In a medium pan melt lard over medium heat.
  • Add shredded pork and fry until nicely crispy while stirring constantly (about 5 minutes).
  • Pour over the chile sauce, mix well and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until you’ll see there’s almost no liquid left.
  • Adjust with salt if needed and turn off the heat. Serve or store for later.

Notes

  • Allow the meat to cook until almost falls apart. This is the key to shredding it with the minimum effort and getting the right texture of this dish.
  • To speed-up things, shred the meat using an electric mixer, just place the meat in a bowl and use the mixer at low speed until nicely shredded.
  • The right texture of this dish is almost dry, so allow the sauce to evaporate the liquid very well.
  • Some recipes make use of orange juice, but the authentic recipe from Sinaloa is made with vinegar.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 291kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 88mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2662IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg
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