For my annual Academy Awards party I made these two Mexican favorites. Recipes below...


4 large dried ancho chiles stemmed, seeded

2 large dried chiles de árbol or japones chiles, stemmed, seeded

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 5-pound boneless pork shoulder

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

3 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 12-ounce bottle dark Mexican lager.

Day 1:

Season pork shoulder generously with salt and spread paste over pork.

Place chiles in a medium bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover, and set a small plate or bowl on chiles to keep submerged. Let soak until softened, about 30 minutes. Drain chiles, reserving 1 cup soaking liquid.

Place rehidrated chiles, sugar, lime juice, and 1/4 cup reserved soaking liquid in a blender. Purée chile mixture, adding more soaking liquid as needed to form a smooth paste. Rub down taht pork shoulder with chilie mixture!

Day 2 or 3:

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano, coriander, cumin, and allspice. Cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add beer; bring to a boil. Add pork to pot; cover and refridgerate for a day or so.

Braise pork at 250 degrees, basting occasionally with pan juices, until very tender, about 2 1/2 hours or until internal temp hits 190 degrees.

Shred it up and make yer tacos!


4 lbs beef chuck roast

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

3 - 4 chipotle chilis in adobo

1¼ cups beef broth

4 teaspoons minced garlic

1½ Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp dried oregano

¾ tsp salt, then more to taste

½ tsp ground black pepper

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ cup fresh lime juice

Cut the beef into large cubes. In a large skillet over medium high heat add the vegetable oil and sear the beef on each side. Transfer to your slow cooker.

In a food processor add adobo chilis, beef broth, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper and lime juice. Blend and pour on top of the meat.

Cook on low for 8-9 hours or high for 6 hours.

Shred it up and make up some tacos!


Peal the outer skin from about 10 medium tomitillos. Throw them in a screaming hot pan and cook till all sides are black. Add in a serranno pepper and blacken that bad boy too.

Transfer all the veggies to a blender. Add salt and pepper. Pulse till smooth. Let cool and add the flesh of one avocado to mixture. Pureé until smooth.

Serve cold with a hit of fresh sea salt and miced cilantro on top.