Sometimes the slow cooker is a source of easy, one-crock meals; other times it’s merely a crucial stop in a longer journey. These rich, comforting enchiladas are in the latter category: Pork shoulder, dried chiles, and tomatoes slowly turn luscious over as many as 10 hours in the slow cooker, then get turned into a memorable filling, rolled into sauce-dipped tortillas and baked under a blanket of cheese. Serve these on a Sunday afternoon with a refreshing tangle of jicama and orange salad and a pitcher of agua de Jamaica or beer.

Game plan: Cook the pork shoulder up to 2 days before you need it, remove it from the cooking liquid, let it cool for an hour, and refrigerate both the meat and liquid overnight. Skimming the fat is a breeze after it’s solidified, and rolling and baking the enchiladas will take no time at all.

For a veggie version, see our classic cheese enchilada recipe, or get even more ways to use pulled pork that aren’t sandwiches.

  • Yield: 10 (7-inch) enchiladas
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 35 mins, plus 8 to 10 hrs in the slow cooker
  • Active: 1 hr 35 mins

Ingredients (16)

  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds pork shoulder
  • 2 large tomatoes, cored and quartered lengthwise
  • 10 whole dried New Mexico chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 6 whole dried arbol chiles, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and tender stems, plus more for serving
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered through the root end
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 (7-inch) flour or corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, for serving


  1. Put the pork shoulder, tomatoes, dried chiles, vinegar, and water in the crock of a large slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low until the meat is tender and easy to pull apart, about 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Carefully lift the cooked pork out of the slow cooker and transfer it to a large bowl. Use a large spoon to skim the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid in the crock, removing as much (or as little!) as you like. With two forks, shred the meat into large bite-sized pieces, pulled pork style.
  4. Transfer the skimmed cooking liquid, including the chiles, to a blender. Add the cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, oregano, and salt.
  5. Being careful not to scald yourself with the hot liquid, blend until you have a thick, smooth sauce. You should end up with at least 3 cups.
  6. Measure 3/4 cup of the sauce and add it to the shredded pork in the bowl, mixing to achieve a nice, moist consistency.
  7. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  8. Pour the remaining sauce into a wide, shallow dish (a pie plate is perfect). Dip a tortilla into the sauce, submerging it so both sides are coated. Drain off the excess sauce, then lay out the dipped tortilla on a work surface. Spoon some of the pulled pork down the center and roll to enclose the filling. Transfer to the prepared baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Evenly distribute the remaining sauce over the rolled enchiladas and top with the cheeses.
  9. Bake, uncovered, until heated through and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let the enchiladas rest for 10 minutes before serving, so they’re easier to handle. Serve with sour cream and cilantro.