Chilorio: Shredded Pork With Chili Sauce

Chilorio is a scrumptious northern Mexican dish made with shredded pork simmered in a delicious chili sauce with spices. The dish can be served alongside with various side dishes and flour tortillas or used to make burritos, tortas and tacos.

Chilorio served on a bowl.

Our recipe is pretty simple to follow and we also give you some options in case you don’t have all ingredients available where you live.

What is Chilorio?

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

The dish can be served in a plate alongside with refried beans and flour tortillas. Or it can be used to fill burritos, tortas, chimichangas or tacos. Chilorio recipe is actually very popular not only in Sinaloa but also in other northern states, such as Sonora, Durango, Chihuahua and Baja California.

Homemade chilorio is definitely the best option to go for this dish, but if you ever been in one of the states I mentioned before, you’ll notice that chilorio is also sold by weight at local markets. And not only, a canned version is also sold at the supermarket all over and outside Mexico.

Close up on chilorio.

What types of chiles to use

You can use guajillo, pasilla or ancho chilies to make the recipe. Although I prefer using a mix of each for a flavored dish. But also other chilies works perfectly for making chilorio, such as California, mulato or puya.

If you can’t find Mexican chilies, you can use fresh red peppers and paprika powder. I’ll leave you the quantities below.

Cutting Mexican chilies with scissors.

The step by step recipe

Place the meat into a braise pan. Add enough water to cover for about 2 inches (5cm), add salt and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then low the heat to medium-low.

Pork meat on a pot.

Cover and 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 remaining cooking water.

Cooked pork meat.

Remove the meat from the pan and shredded it while is still hot using 2 forks or a mixer. Set aside.

Shredded pork meat on a deep plate.

Make the sauce: Clean the chilies and place them on a bowl, pour over hot water to cover them and let them soak for 10 minutes.

Transfer chilies to a blender, add garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cumin seeds, a bit of salt, and peppercorns. Pour in the vinegar and 1 1/2 cup of cooking water. Blend for a couple of minutes or until you’ll have a smooth sauce.

Chile sauce on a blender.

Make chilorio

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

Fried shredded pork meat in a pan.

Pour in the chili sauce, mix well and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until you’ll see there’s almost not liquid left. Adjust with salt if needed.

Cooking pork with chili sauce on a pan.
The meat with sauce.
Chilorio cooked on a pan.
Chilorio after 10 minutes.

Recipe notes

  • Allow the meat to cook until almost falling apart. This is the key to shred it with the minimum effort and to get the traditional texture of chilorio.
  • The right texture of this dish is almost dry, so allow the sauce to evaporate the liquid very well.
  • You can replace the chilies with 1 small red bell pepper and 1/2 cup of smoked paprika. Boil the pepper until soft and blend it with paprika and spices as the recipe calls.

How To Store

The dish last for about 5 days in the refrigerator stored in an air-tight 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 zip bags and freeze it. This way I can have it ready for when I crave burritos or tortas!

Chilorio on a ziploc bag.

More mexican authentic recipes

Chilorio recipe.

Chilorio

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
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 6
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

For the meat

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

For the sauce

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

Instructions

  • Place meat, bay leaf and salt into a pot. Cover with water and then set heat to low and simmer until meat will be very tender. Make sure meat is always covered with water and you'll need 1 ½ cups of cooking water.
  • Remove meat from the pan and shredded it. Set aside.
  • Clean the chilies and place them on a bowl, pour over hot water to cover them and soak for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer chilies to a blender, add garlic, bay leaf, oregano, cumin, a bit of salt and peppercorns.
  • Pour in the vinegar and 1 ½ cup of cooking water. Blend for a couple of minutes or until you’ll have a smooth sauce.
  • In a medium pan melt lard over medium heat. Add shredded pork and fry for about 5 minutes while stirring constantly.
  • Pour in the chili sauce, mix well and let it simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until you’ll see there’s almost not liquid left.
  • Adjust with salt if needed and turn off the heat. Serve with warm tortillas.

NOTES

  • Allow the meat to cook until almost falling apart. This is the key to shred it with the minimum effort and to get the traditional texture of chilorio.
  • The right texture of this dish is almost dry, so allow the sauce to evaporate the liquid very well.
  • You can replace the chilies with 1 small red bell pepper and 1/2 cup of smoked paprika. Boil the pepper until soft and blend it with paprika and spices as the recipe calls.
Nutrition
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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