Guiso de Puerco con Chile Rojo (Red Chile Pork Stew)

Guiso de Puerco Colorado
Guiso de Puerco Colorado

Tender cuts of pork in a red chile sauce. Tremendous flavors. Give this dish a try.

We’re still on a Mexican food theme of late without realizing it until I did this post. Once Hatch chiles make their appearance, we get a real hankerin’ for southwestern cuisine and Mexican food. We just can’t help it. You see, EVERYBODY loves Mexican Food and we’re no different. Chiles start appearing in the late summer, early Fall and the sweltering temps in DFW have begun to cool off a bit. Once this occurs our cooking starts to change. We’re no longer worried about heating up the house so we start using the oven a little more frequently and braises, stews and slow cooked meals begin appearing in our diet. This coupled with the fact that chiles are found in abundance and you realize it’s just time to start making Mexican food.

With this dish we had several pounds of pork pieces in the freezer we needed to use. So, satisfying the urge for some Mexican food, we made a Guiso de Puerco con Chile Rojo. You will notice that I use blend of red chiles as opposed to a single chile. Many recipes you will find call for chile de tierra, the ripened dried chile pod of an anaheim pepper. Others will call for dried, sweet New Mexico red chile pods. Others still call for guajillo chiles and I have seen a few calling for Ancho chiles. All of these chiles make a wonderful red sauce for the pork stew. Each one has its own flavor, texture and color. I simply prefer the greater depth of flavor and character that you get from a blend of chiles. You also get a little richer color from a blend of chiles. Now, I know many of you will shy away from this dish because of the title thinking it’s too spicy; however, choosing the chiles to use with your stew allows you to control the level of heat. Dried sweet New Mexico red chile pods and the chile de tierra are very mild chiles (100 – 1,000 Scoville units). Ancho chile adds a little more heat but is still considered mild (1,500 – 3,000 Scoville units). Guajillo chiles are a little hotter and would be what many people would consider spicy (2,500 – 5,000 Scoville units). Chipotles are hotter still at 5,000 – 10,000 Scoville Units. You would be really cruel if you made a stew using only chipotle chiles. 😦 We opted for a blend of primarily dried, sweet New Mexico red chile pods with a little guajillo chile pods and 2 chipotles for a little heat and a nice, smokey flavor.

Now Baby Lady is from El Paso and speaks Spanish fluently. She says the appropriate name for the dish is Guiso de Puerco con Chile Colorado. She’s probably correct but I made this dish so I can call it whatever I want. :D. Regardless of what you call it, this dish has fabulous flavor. So, if you have been bit by the urge for some Mexican food, give this dish a try.


  • 2-1/4 lb pork shoulder, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 dried New Mexico Red Chile Pods, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried guajillo chile pods, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 dried chipotle chile pods, stemmed


Season the pork with salt and place in a pan small enough to fill the cubes 2 layers deep. I use a 3 qt dutch oven. Add 1/4 cup of water.

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Cover tightly and place over low heat. After about 5 – 10 minutes, remove the cover and stir the meat to keep it from sticking. Replace cover and continue to cook over low for approximately 45 minutes. Cooking the pork over low heat tenderizes the meat and will cause the meat to release its liquids so the meat slowly braises. When finished you should have 1 cup of very flavorful broth. Strain the broth off the meat and reserve. Return the meat to the pot, cover and place in a warm place.

Place chiles and garlic in the blender.

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Add the broth from the meat to enough water to make 3 cups of liquid. Pour into blender.

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Add the oregano

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and the cumin

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Turn the blender on low and increase the speed to its highest setting and blend the chiles for 3 minutes until completely pureed.

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Now, we have a Vitamix blender which will puree toothpicks. As a result, I made this sauce a little thicker, only using 2 cups of liquid. Also, because of the Vitamix, we do not strain the mixture. If you are using a typical household blender, you may want to remove the skins, So, strain the sauce at this point and press the skins to ensure you get all of the pulp leaving only the skins behind. If the sauce is too thick to strain, thin it with some water as you can reduce it once you add it to the meat and reheat. Once you have the red sauce how you like it, add the sauce to the pot.

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Return pot to the stove and bring to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency.

Guiso de Puerco

Serve with warm tortillas and enjoy.


31 thoughts on “Guiso de Puerco con Chile Rojo (Red Chile Pork Stew)”

  1. Mmmm reminds me of pozole. Have you ever made it? I haven’t but it’s my absolute favorite Mexican dish! Vamos REM!!

  2. I can get all my food cravings for Texas food that I miss so much fixed by just reading and enjoying your photos of food that I enjoy and miss so much.

  3. Pork and chilies…a match and in heaven. Definitely I have to make this maybe this weekend. I will let you know how it turned out 🙂

  4. Even though I don’t eat pork I can still say that looks awesomely delicious it sort of reminded me of a pot pie .I do love spicy foods I always buy habanero peppers and scotch bonnets.I just love heat.

  5. If ever a dish you’ve prepared will tempt me to throw caution to the wind and use more than one type of chili in a dish, this is the one. It looks incredible, Richard!

  6. I just made a batch of this.
    I did make 2 substitutions: I used ancho instead of New Mexico chiles (couldn’t find), and also I simmered the pork shoulder bone and used that broth instead of water for the additional liquid.
    Did my substitutions make it bitter, or is it supposed to be that way?

    1. Were your ancho chiles fresh and plump or dry and brittle? The freshness of the dried Ancho chiles can make a difference. Also, did you take the seeds and ribbing out of the ancho? The seeds and ribbing will also lend a bitterness to the dish. Ancho chiles are fruity with some chocolate and tobacco undertones that many people would consider bitter. New Mexico Reds have a milder and more floral, fruity flavor. Another thing is that ancho chiles are about the same length but much fatter and broader at the shoulder than New Mexico chiles. As a result, you may have added more chile by using the ancho as opposed to the New Mexico red. This guiso is also very “earthy” and if you are not familiar with this type of Mexican food, you may consider it bitter. If so, add a little honey or brown sugar to take the bitter bite away. Another possibility is to add a little flour and tweak the spices to taste as the flour will mellow some of the flavors.

        1. You could make a slurry with water and flour or you could make a roux – equal parts flour and butter/oil. You can also use corn flour, masa harina, or corn starch. 2 Tbsp wheat flour will thicken 1 pint of liquid. Out of curiosity, why do you want to add flour?? This will thicken beautifully on its own.

    1. There is no difference. Rojo and Colorado both mean red and this is a red chile stew. I was simply messing with the Baby Lady. 🙂 As I pointed out in the post, Baby Lady “is from El Paso and speaks Spanish fluently. She says the appropriate name for the dish is Guiso de Puerco con Chile Colorado. She’s probably correct but I made this dish so I can call it whatever I want.”

    1. Nope, there is no need to boil the chiles or cover them with hot water to soften them. The chiles used in this recipe are not as thick and tough as ancho chiles. The warm broth and blender are all you need. 🙂

  7. The recipe sounds great, can’t wait to try it. In the finished picture, what is in the ramekin on the plate?

    1. Sure but you will be missing some of the fat which keeps the pork moist from such long cooking times. Also, when you use pork shoulder aka Boston butt, the slow braising of the meat makes the meat very tender. It will break up on you as you stir it which will also affect the guiso’s consistency. If I were going to use such a lean piece of meat, I would make the salsa with chicken stock, brown the meat, then add the meat to the salsa and allow it to simmer until you get your desired thickness/consistency. This would be a whole lot quicker, too.

  8. I am dating a Mexican guy amd one day he was telling me about it… I googled it lastnight and foumd your recipe, my man was sp excited and wants me to make this for him within the next couple days……it looks so yummy….will let you know how it turns out and how he liked it!

  9. Hi Richard I made your recipes it turned out delicious I’m so happy this is my favorite Mexican dish now I can make it my self I don’t have to go out to have this Thank You

  10. Hi, Richard:

    I made a huge batch of this (tripled the recipe) over yellow rice and took it to our local police station as a “thank you” to our officers. It was a hit. I also saved a small portion to eat at home; it’s fantastic. I live in southern Texas and we have a great selection of chiles. Thanks for your site and all your postings. Keep up the great work.

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