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Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine international
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 400kcal


  • 2 lbs boneless pork butt
  • 5 dried ancho chiles, stems removed, cut into pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed but left whole
  • 1 chopotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano leaves
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Cut meat into 2-inch pieces, removing big pieces of fat, but leaving a little bit. Place meat in a heavy cast iron pot. Cover meat with water to about 1 1/2 inches above meat. Bring pot, uncovered, to a slow simmer. Skim off foam with a small strainer. Rinsing the strainer in a bowl of water after each dip. Cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until meat is very tender. You may have to add water to keep meat covered. But in the end, you will want the water to have evaporated and the meat brown for a few minutes in what fat is left in pot from the pork. So don't add too much water at a time.
  • Meanwhile, place ancho chiles in a heatproof bowl and cover with very hot water. Cover the bowl. Leave for at least 20 miniutes.
  • After chiles have been softened, place them in a blender jar along with the garlic, chipotle chile, cumin, oregano, salt, vinegar and 1/4 cup of water. Puree to a smooth thick paste. Set aside.
  • When the meat is very tender and lightly browned, remove it from the pot. Place on a cutting board and using two forks, shred the meat. Salt and pepper the meat to taste.
  • Pour 1/4 cup water into the pot and and bring to a simmer to remove any browned bits on the bottom. Place the meat and the sauce into the pan and simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve on warmed flour tortillas or roll in softened corn tortillas.


Note: This sauce is quite mild. If ever I want to spice it up, I add 1 fresh roasted pablano and 1 fresh roasted California chile to the blender. I roast them under the broiler first, until they begin to turn black on either side. Place them in a plastic bag for 15 minutes. Then peel the skin off and throw them in the blender with the chile mixture.