Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Chilorio with Mexican Rice Paired with a Long Line-up of Wine

Chilorio with Mexican Rice-1

To celebrate cinco de Mayo, Chef Sue and I decided to put together a Mexican based wine pairing featuring Chilorio with Mexican Rice.  Unfortunately, none of my favorite wine shops carried Mexican wine.  And to be quite honest, I don’t believe I have ever tasted or even seen a Mexican wine.  I’m sure they exist, but for the purposes of this pairing we had to make do.

We invited over several friends which resulted in a long line-up of wine ranging in price from under $10 to over $20.  With the Mexican theme in mind everyone brought wine to pair with the spicy chilorio.  The selection was dominated by Sauvignon Blanc along with a Pinot Grigio, Viognier, and a Moscato.

In addition to the wine line-up, we were treated to Formerly of Austin Dawn’s spicy shrimp.  The shrimp was a perfect addition to the chilorio – and they did not last long.  Dawn was nice enough supply the recipe you will find at the end of this post.

Dawn's Spicy Shrimp-1

All of the Sauvignon Blancs provided the fundamentals to pair well with the chilorio – mild sweetness, well balanced acidity, and pleasing fruit flavor.  The Pinot Grigio was very pleasant and worked well for much the same reasons.  The only wines that we found questionable were the Viognier and the Moscato.  I find it hard to describe now, but the Viognier paired with the spicy ancho chiles of the chilorio resulted in some off flavors – nearly offensive.  The Moscato might have been a reasonable choice except for the company it was keeping.  Side by side with the Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio, the Moscato felt too sweet.  I think it suffered by simple contrast to the higher acidity and moderate sweetness of the other wines. 

Wine Line-up for Cinco de Mayo

The next time you are looking to add a little spice to your life (the food type), this recipe and a nice Sauvignon Blanc will surely do the trick.


Spicy Grilled Shrimp


  • 1 lg clove garlic
  • 1 TB coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 TB olive oil 
  • 2 tsp lemon juice 
  • 2 lbs large shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • lemon or lime wedges, for garnish


  1. Preheat grill for medium heat. 
  2. In a small bowl, crush garlic with the salt. Mix in cayenne pepper and paprika, then stir in olive oil and lemon juice to form a paste. In a large bowl, toss shrimp with paste until evenly coated.
  3. Lightly oil grate (or spray with nonstick cooking spray). Cook shrimp for 5-7 minutes or until opaque, turning often with spatula.
  4. Garnish with lemon wedges.



  • 2 pounds boneless pork
  • 4-5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3-4 dried ancho chiles (dried hablano peppers)
  • 1/2 of an onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, simmer the pork in the vegetable broth, covered, for 2 hours.
  2. During the last 20 minutes, ladle out enough liquid to cover the dried chiles in a bowl. Let the chiles soak in the liquid until they are soft then remove the stems and seeds.
  3. At the 2 hour mark, drain off the liquid and reserve 1 cup.
  4. Using a fork, shred the pork.
  5. Using the pot or Dutch oven that held the pork, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the pork and fry until browned. Remove the pork and set aside.
  7. In the same pot and same oil, sauté the onions until translucent. Remove them from the pan and set aside to cool.
  8. In a blender, add the chiles, onions, spices and reserved liquid (1 cup). Blend until smooth.
  9. Combine pork, and chile sauce back in the same pot and simmer for 10 minutes then serve with rice or tortillas.

Mexican Rice


  • 2 cups uncooked white rice
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 1 large diced tomato
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped (add at the end)
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar


  1. Using a small amount of the oil, sauté onions over medium heat in a large skillet until tender.
  2. Add remainder of oil along with the rice and remainder of ingredients except cilantro, diced tomato and chicken stock. Stir for one minute.
  3. Add diced tomato and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
  4. Lower heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Add chopped cilantro, stir and serve.

In vino veritas, buen provecho.


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