Yucatán Pork Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime Juice


Butcher-chef Tia Harrison finds making stew a versatile way to use cuts like pork shoulder, shanks and belly. Here she cooks the stew with pleasantly bitter ancho chiles. Plus:  More Terrific Pork Recipes & Tips 

Yucatan Pork Stew with Ancho Chiles and Lime Juice
Photo: © Cedric Angeles
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs 40 mins


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 4 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 large white onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 8 garlic cloves, smashed

  • 1 pound carrots, cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths

  • 3 ancho chiles, seeded and cut into very thin strips with scissors

  • 3 bay leaves

  • Pinch of ground cloves

  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

  • 6 cups chicken stock

  • 6 plum tomatoes, quartered lengthwise

  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

  • Steamed white rice and sliced jalapeños, for serving


  1. In a very large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Season the pork with salt and black pepper and add half of it to the casserole. Cook over moderate heat, turning, until browned all over, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate. Brown the remaining pork.

  2. Return all of the pork to the casserole along with any accumulated juices. Stir in the onions, garlic, carrots, chiles, bay leaves, cloves, lime juice and chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the tomatoes, nestling them into the liquid. Cover and cook over low heat until the pork is very tender and the carrots are cooked through, about 3 hours. Discard the bay leaves and stir in the cilantro. Serve with rice and sliced jalapeños.

Make Ahead

The stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat before serving.

Suggested Pairing

This Mexican-influenced dish gets its earthiness from ancho chiles, a flavor that pairs well with Argentina's premier grape, Malbec. Originally from France, this dark-berried, spicy variety reaches its pinnacle in Mendoza, producing juicy, potent wines.

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