Chile Colorado

Chile Colorado
★★★★ Rated 4 stars by 56 users






25 minutes


240 minutes



An authentic Mexican favorite. From the city of Chihuaha this recipe is filled with amazing great tasting flavor. Make this for your family or friends on the grill!

Rico Gubernick @unclechicosbbq



  • 3-4 lb boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1/2-1 inch cubes


  • 12 guajillos

  • 4 ancho/pasilla chiles*

  • 1 half white onion

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 2 Roma tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano

  • 1 1/2 tsp. Mexican cumin

  • 3-4 cups chicken stock

  • 2 dried bay leaves


  • Lawry's Garlic salt

  • Seasoned pepper

  • Meat Church Holy Gospel rub

  • John Henry's mojave garlic pepper

  • Serve with fresh tortillas, rice, and chorizo beans


  1. Prepare your chiles first. Take guajillos and ancho/pasilla chiles and remove the stems and seeds. I like to cut them with scissors lengthwise so they can be opened up to toast. Toasting is key as this will bring out the flavor and enhance the depth of your sauce. Make sure not to burn them as it will make them bitter.

  2. Toast a couple of minutes on each side on a hot cast iron pan or skillet. Also char white onion, garlic, and Roma tomatoes.

  3. Once the chiles have been toasted and veggies have been charred, add them to a pot and cover with 3 cups of boiling water and let them steam, for about 20 to 30 minutes with a lid on top. This will rehydrate the chiles.

  4. Put the chiles and all of the soaking liquid into a blender and purée until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper and Mexican oregano and cumin.

  5. Strain it several times to make it velvety smooth and add some chicken stock until there are 8 cups total sauce in the blender.

  6. Cut boneless pork shoulder into 1/2 to 1inch cubes. My Abuelita typically uses boneless country-style ribs. I used pork butt and left them a little larger and was very happy with how they turned out. Don't worry about trimming the fat as it will render down and help keep the pork moist. I used Lawry's garlic salt, seasoned pepper, Meat Church Holy Gospel rub, and some John Henry's mojave garlic pepper.

  7. Brown pork cubes on the Pit Barrel® by removing rebar to get it hot so you can get a good crust on the pork. Once you have a good crust and color put rebar back in and let smoke for about an hour. You will want to turn several times.

  8. I used mesquite and oak chips but think cherry and mesquite might be nice as well. Mexican cooking tends to lend to Mesquite flavor profiles.

  9. Remove pork and place in heavy cast iron or dutch oven. Cover with sauce and add dried bay leaves. Placed pot uncovered for about a half-hour in the Pit Barrel®. The liquid does reduce so I covered and cooked for about 2 hours total time with rebar in.


*Choosing the right chile is key to having a flavorful sauce. My Abuelita would spend what seemed like hours searching for the perfect chile. Look for chiles that are vibrant in color and soft and pliable, like a raisin. If they are dry and brittle, they will lack flavor. If you cant find Guajillos I also like New Mexico chiles. My tia who was from a different part of Chihuaha and lived closer to the states used New Mexico chiles and her chile colorado was delicious as well. Its fun to experiment with different combos and each family has their own preferences.

"This recipe was one of the most popular and requested on Pit Barrel Nation. It's near and dear to me as it was passed on to me from my Mexican Grandma. I adapted it to the Pit Barrel®.

As a young boy, my Abuelita would make pots of Chile Colorado on special occasions. In my Abuelita's home town of Chihuaha, bite size pieces of tender pork are slow cooked in a red chile sauce of guajillos and other chiles, and served with fresh tortillas, rice, and beans. It is a dish near and dear to my heart and evokes so many memories of my culture and family. I have wanted to try making it incorporating my Pit Barrel Cooker. The pork is smoked over mesquite chips to get a crust then braised in a luscious guajillo and ancho red chile sauce for a couple of hours. Pork is fork tender and even has a small smoke ring.

May the pork be with you!

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