From Our Food and Drink Archives

Chilorio Tacos



2½ lb (1.25 kg) whole beef chuck
1 small onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup (250 mL) water



5 dried ancho chilies, deveined and seeded
2 dried guajillo chilies, deveined and seeded
2 cups (500 mL) boiling water
6 garlic cloves
¼ cup (60 mL) white wine vinegar
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tsp (5 mL) whole black peppercorns
½ tsp (2 mL) cumin seeds
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt



½ cup (125 mL) Mexican crema or regular sour cream
⅓ cup (75 mL) lime juice



12 white corn tortillas, warmed
6 cups (1.5 L) chopped romaine, microgreens or baby spinach
Marinated red onions (recipe follows)
Sea salt
Cilantro sprigs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. For beef, combine beef with onion, bay leaves and water in a large ovenproof pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and transfer to preheated oven. Cook for at least 3 hours, until beef is tender and starts to fall apart. (You can also prepare this in a slow cooker on high for 6 hours.)
  3. With a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a platter (reserve cooking liquid for another use, such as making soup). With two forks, shred beef and return it to the pot. Set aside.
  4. For chili paste, toast ancho and guajillo chilies in a small heavy skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, to release oils. Transfer to a bowl and add boiling water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Strain chilies, reserving liquid.
  5. In a food processor, combine soaked chilies, garlic, vinegar, oregano, peppercorns, cumin seeds and salt. Process until a thick paste forms, adding some of reserved soaking liquid, if needed.
  6. Stir chili paste into shredded beef. Cook, stirring, over medium heat until well combined and hot throughout.
  7. For lime crema, combine crema with lime juice in a small bowl. Transfer to a squeeze bottle for easy dispensing.
  8. To serve, top tortillas with beef. Layer romaine and marinated red onions on top of beef, then drizzle with lime crema. Finish with sea salt and cilantro sprigs.
Makes 12 tacos

Marinated Red Onions



1 lb (500 g) red onions, sliced (about 2 large)
2 cups (500 mL) white wine vinegar
½ cup (125 mL) lemon juice
½ cup (125 mL) orange juice
¼ cup (60 mL) cilantro sprigs
½ tsp (2 mL) salt


  1. In a large non-metallic bowl, combine all ingredients. Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least 24 hours or preferably 48 hours.

Makes about 3 cups (750 mL) 


TIP Marinated Red Onions keep for 3 weeks in the refrigerator and are also good tossed in salads or used as a condiment for a charcuterie board.