Chipotle Pork Enchiladas with Tomato Habanero Sauce

Enchiladas de Puerco

Chipotle Pork Enchiladas with Tomato Habanero Sauce from Shannon Bard, The Gourmet Mexican Kitchen

A version of this dish has been on the menu at both restaurants since we opened, and it continues to be one of our best sellers year after year. The rich pork pairs wonderfully with the subtle heat of the habanero sauce and the finish of raw red onion slices completes the nuance of flavors while also adding a nice crunch. If you love enchiladas, this dish is a must try. Serve with Clay Pot Beans (page 131) to create a full, memorable meal.



2½-3 lb (1.1-1.4 kg) pork shoulder roast (Boston butt)

2 tbsp (30 g) salt

1 tbsp (9 g) chipotle chile powder


2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil

½ medium white onion, sliced

8 Roma tomatoes, dry roasted and peeled (page 18)

1 cup (240 ml) chicken broth

1 habanero chile, cut in half

1 tsp salt


12 corn tortillas, fresh or good-quality store-bought

2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil

1 cup (130 g) shredded Monterey Jack or Chihuahua cheese

½ red onion, thinly sliced


Preheat the oven to 275°F (135°C).

Rinse the pork roast under cool water and lightly pat with a paper towel to dry. Combine the salt and chipotle powder in a small bowl and thoroughly rub the mixture onto the pork, being sure to completely cover all surfaces. Place the pork in a roasting pan or Dutch oven and cover tightly with a lid or double layer of aluminum foil. Place in the preheated oven and cook for 3½-4 hours, until the pork is extremely tender and falls apart when pressed with a fork or tongs.

Remove the cooked pork from the oven and let rest, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and using two forks, shred into large strands. Discard the pan drippings and set the shredded pork aside.


Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of the canola oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Place the sliced onions in the pan and cook, stirring often, for 7-10 minutes, until the onions are extremely soft but not yet browning. Then, using a slotted spoon, remove the onions from the sauté pan and place in a blender along with the tomatoes; blend for 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and a warm orange color.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and pour the sauce into the pan all at once. Be careful, as the sauce will splatter. Stir and cook for 3 minutes, or until it begins to darken and thicken slightly. Add the broth, habanero pepper and season with salt. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the sauce for an additional 3-5 minutes, until thoroughly heated. Taste the sauce. If the habanero has added enough heat for your palate, remove it with a slotted spoon. If you prefer more heat, continue to cook the sauce with the pepper until you've reached your desired heat level. Remove the pepper before serving.


Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).

Spread the tortillas, overlapping as little as possible, across a large sheet pan. Brush the tortillas lightly with canola oil and place in the oven to heat for 1-2 minutes, until just warm.

Spoon 1 cup (240 ml) of the Tomato Habanero Sauce evenly onto the bottom of a heavy baking dish. Fill each tortilla with ¼ cup (50 g) of shredded pork and 1 tablespoon (8 g) of shredded Monterey Jack or Chihuahua cheese. Roll each enchilada tightly and place in the baking dish, seam side down. Top the rolled enchiladas with the remaining sauce and an additional sprinkling of shredded cheese. Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and serve topped with thinly sliced red onions.

Note: The leftover pulled pork can be used for a fantastic taco filling or to make Red Chile Pork Tamales (page 41).

Dry Roasting

Throughout this cookbook, a large number of recipes will call for ingredients to be roasted, or dry roasted. Dry roasting is a technique used in Mexican cooking that cooks ingredients in a dry skillet, without any oil or fat.


Heat a cast-iron pan or comal over medium-high heat. Place the whole tomato directly onto the hot pan. Cook the tomato, turning once, until it is blackened on all sides.

If the recipe calls for the tomato to be peeled, place the tomato in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap; let rest for 15 minutes until the skin has pulled away from the flesh and is cool enough to touch. Use a paring knife to gently peel away and discard the skin.