While I was visiting my familia in Monterrey, Mexico in 2011, I was asked to prepare a dish to pass for the big family reunion. The first thing that came to mind was my mom’s recipe for pork chile colorado (red). If I had to pick one dish of hers that was my favorite, it would have to be this one for sure. I think all of my brothers and sisters would agree with me on this one. This was also my first time cooking in a big Mexican cazuela! I loved it! My familia enjoyed the dish that night, and it was my way of having my mom there with me, sharing her foods as she loved to do… #foodieforlife #mexicanfood
Dried Chile Pods!
What would my life be like without dried chile pods? Boring! If I remember correctly, mom strictly used chile ancho for this recipe. I like to add a mix of ancho and guajillo. Her spices, cumin, garlic, oregano and pepper, were minimal. Some recipes call for a little cinnamon, cloves and thyme. I have even seen where people add a splash of apple cider vinegar.
Dried Chile Pods
Re-hydrated Chile Pods
Not Cooking For Eight?
You don’t have to commit to a whole pork roast when preparing this recipe. Simply choose bone in pork country-style ribs or pork steaks and cut the ingredients in half! It’s that easy.
On this occasion, I used pork country-style ribs. I think the bone adds more flavor to the recipe.
Asado de Puerco-Chile Colorado
- 10 chile ancho peppers
- 6 guajillo peppers
- 2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
- 2 cups water
- Grapeseed or canola oil
- 4 pounds of pork butt or shoulder cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
- 1 1/2-2 teaspoons Mexican oregano crushed between the palms of your hands
- Salt to taste
- 1 large white onion diced
- 6 cloves of garlic minced
- 4 cups of broth/stock pork or chicken
- 2 large Russet potatoes peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes, fried until crispy and drained onto paper towels, set aside.
- Remove the stems and seeds from the dried peppers, transfer them to a large sauce pan. Cover with water, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand in water.
- In a large pot, preheat 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil to medium/high heat for 5 minutes. While the oil preheats, season the pork with cumin, granulated garlic, pepper, oregano and salt. Sear the seasoned pork in batches in preheated oil, turning as needed. You want to sear and brown the the pork at a high heat until it gets nice and brown in most spots. Transfer seared pork to a plate. Sear the remaining pork.
- When peppers are soft, drain water and transfer to the blender. Add 2 teaspoons bouillon and 2 cups water. Blend on high until smooth, set aside. For a smoother sauce, strain it using a wire mesh strainer. I prefer the strained sauce.
- Add the onions and minced garlic to the pork and cook for a 5-7 minutes. Add all of the sauce from the blender to the pork and 2-3 cups of broth, stir well to combine. Taste for salt.
- Lower the heat and cook for a good 1½ to 2 hours, adding a little more stock if needed. Fry the potatoes until crisp and golden while the pork finishes cooking. Add potatoes to the pork during the last 15 minutes of cooking. Heat just until warmed through. This was one of my mom’s signature dishes … always served with warm, homemade flour tortillas.
In a hurry to eat? Pressure Cooker!
When I need to cook the pork in a hurry, I dust off my pressure cooker. I only do this when preparing half the recipe. Cook the pork in lightly salted water for 40 minutes under pressure. Add your chile sauce as instructed and simmer for 35-45 minutes.
On this particular day I cooked the pork meat ahead in the pressure cooker and finished it in the cazuela. I did not add any potatoes.
When the asado de puerco cooks down for an extra long time and begins to shred easily, those are some amazing tacos!
Tips~For a variation, you could slice the pork and simmer it in water with salt, onion and garlic, until tender. You could then use that pork broth in the recipe instead of using chicken broth.
Here is a picture from my trip to Monterrey, Mexico. While visiting my family, I prepared a large cazuela of Asado de Puerco-Chile Colorado for the family reunion.
I wanted to add these new pictures to show the difference in color using only chile ancho. The older the peppers are, the darker the sauce will be. I only used chile ancho this time, no other peppers.
People often ask, why add the potatoes? Why not? As far back as I can remember, my Mom always added them in. It’s so delicious to have that tender, saucy pork with a crispy potato in the mix.
If you are fortunate enough to live where the chile ancho is abundant and fresh, you will yield a brighter red sauce. As the peppers age, they get darker and are not as soft, yielding a darker sauce as well.
For this day, I had a few large pork chops left from a previous recipe. After I braised them in the sauce for 3 1/2 hours, I sliced them into smaller piece uniform with the potatoes. Older peppers, darker sauce.