An authentic Mexican pork stew made with dried chiles, no chili powder here! The guajillo chiles add a very smoky flavor while the ancho chiles add a touch of smoky sweetness. To add another level of flavor, we always top our puerco asado with sliced onions marinated in fresh lemon juice.


Recipe Summary

20 mins
55 mins
1 hr 15 mins
6 servings


Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine pork cubes, 1/2 cup water, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until water evaporates. Continue cooking until the pork browns in its rendered fat, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, cut tops off the dried chiles and remove seeds. Heat chiles in a large skillet over low heat until they start to soften. Do not toast. Place chiles in a bowl of hot water and soak for 20 minutes.

  • Remove pork and set aside. Do not wash, wipe out, or clean the Dutch oven.

  • Transfer chiles to a blender, reserving soaking water. Add cilantro, chicken bouillon, peppercorns, garlic, cinnamon stick, Mexican oregano, thyme, cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cloves. Pour in 1 cup soaking water and blend until smooth. Add 1 more cup soaking water, season with salt, and blend until completely smooth.

  • Melt lard in the Dutch oven. Carefully add blended chile mixture and scrape up all browned bits. Bring to a boil and add pork. Reduce heat and cover partially, leaving about 1 inch open. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened and reaches the desired consistency, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

Cooking pork shoulder with this method ensures that the pork will not dry out.

Be very careful when adding chile mixture back into Dutch oven. Mixture tends to splatter.

Nutrition Facts

178 calories; protein 14.4g; carbohydrates 8.3g; fat 10.1g; cholesterol 46.7mg; sodium 426.7mg. Full Nutrition

Reviews (1)

3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
The flavor was classic old Mexico. Indeed, no chili powder needed as the peppers provide all the smoky flavor and just the right amount of spice. The store had the guajillo peppers but not the ancho so I also used Mexican red peppers. As I prepared this I was thinking this would be a whole lot easier in a crock pot and next time I'll add the lime or orange juice and onions as I cook it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Doubled sauce recipe..Didn't have chilies. Used canned chipoteles (4 of them) added 3 small onions to the sauce mix blended them all without cooking and marinade the pork in the sauce for 1 hour before cooking. Served over rice with arepas and cilantro. So amazing ! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I thought the flavors were quite good. I didn’t have ancho chili’s so I used New Mexico reds. Also, the pork had a lot of rendered fat but I did add the lard. I ended up skimming fat off when the sauce was done. I did the white onions with the fresh lemon juice with a little salt and oregano (this is also very good with a small, small piece of chopped habanero.)Very tasty! Thank you! Read More