Secret Recipe: Cala's Back Alley Pork Adobo Tacos

Secret Recipe: Cala's Back Alley Pork Adobo Tacos


If you haven't committed to a sit-down meal at Cala yet (and you totally should), make the time to visit their no-reservation-required taco stand in the back of the restaurant. Open weekdays for lunch starting at 11am, Tacos Cala offers a daily array of Mexico City-style tacos guisados, or homestyle stews. Our favorite is the pork adobo tacos, with chunks of pork shoulder that are browned and braised until tender in a spicy, smokey red salsa. We love it so much, we got the recipe (and it's surprisingly easy). 

Pork in Chile Adobo Tacos

Serves 12-15


5-pound pork shoulder

adobo seasoning* 

1. Cut pork shoulder into half-inch cubes. 

2. Purée all adobo ingredients together in a blender and pour the resulting adobo sauce into a large bowl.

3. Add pork to the bowl to marinate in sauce for a minimum of 10 minutes. 

4. Remove pork cubes from marinade and sear on all sides in a large deep-sided skillet over medium-high heat.

5. Pour chicken stock and leftover marinade into the pan until the pork is submerged.

6. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pan and braise for approximately 3 hours or until pork is falling apart. 

7. Serve pork with rice, beans, tortillas (Chef Cámara recommends La Palma’s tortillas), and your choice of salsa or guacamole.


*Adobo Ingredients: 

2 large cloves of garlic

1 large white onion

3 medium Roma tomatoes

3 dried ancho chiles, seeds removed

15 dried cascabel chiles, seeds removed

10 dried guajillo chiles, seeds removed

2 1/2 T achiote paste

1 cup rice oil

1 T salt

2 T water 

Omar Mamoon is the founder of Dough & Co.

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