Red Simmered Pork

entree, pork

ancho chili, cilantro, cinnamon, cumin, flour tortilla, garlic, onion, oregano, pasilla chili, pork, salt

Red Simmered Pork

A staple of Mexican households, this meat is often shredded and served with flour tortillas. It is eaten by itself or used as a filling for tacos, burritos and enchiladas. It has a deep, rich flavor, redolent of red chiles, yet is spicy without being overly hot. I often freeze it in batches so I can thaw it in the microwave for a delicious and quick Mexican meal.


  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 dried ancho or pasilla chiles
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • flour tortillas


Place the pork cubes, 1 cup of the water and the salt in a heavy duty pot or flame-proof casserole. Bring the water to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. In the end, there should be only pork and rendered fat, with no water left in the pot. If not, uncover and boil away the water over high heat.

In the meantime, remove the stems and seeds from the chiles and wash to rid them of excess dirt. Place them in a saucepan and cover with 1-1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat until soft, about 10 minutes.

Pour the chiles and their cooking water into a blender. purée with the garlic, onion, cumin, cinnamon, oregano and cilantro. Pour this mixture into the pot with the pork.

Bring the sauce to a boil. Cover and simmer the pork another 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender and almost falling apart. The sauce should be thick and clinging to the meat. If the sauce is too runny, remove the lid and boil until thickened. Serve on or with warmed flour tortillas.


©1994, 1998, 2007 Katherine Heyhoe. All rights reserved.


This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007

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