Get This In Your Belly: Coloradito de Puerco at El Moctezuma #2
Dave Lieberman

Get This In Your Belly: Coloradito de Puerco at El Moctezuma #2

I've been to El Moctezuma many times. I'm slowly working my way through its menu of Oaxacan specialities such as memelas; tlayudas; huge, banana-leaf-wrapped tamales; and of course plenty of moles.

Until we took a visiting Marylander for Oaxacan food last week, I had never had the coloradito de puerco, and it's as though a hole has been healed in my culinary soul.

Coloradito ("little red") is very similar to the famous mole negro, except that where mole negro gets its black color and back-of-the-throat slight bitterness from unsweetened Mexican chocolate, coloradito is all chiles and spices. It's got nearly as many ingredients, but the absence of the big hit of chocolate leaves warmth in the sauce.

Most coloradito (as with most mole negro) are served with chicken, but since we'd ordered the amarillo de pollo (also very good, like a Mexican curry), we decided to get pork in our coloradito. What came out was several pieces of pork ribs (chuletas), cooked separately until tender, then finished in the rich, adhesive sauce. The bones came out with no effort whatsoever, and the pork was so tender you could have eaten it with a spoon. The flavor of the meat complemented the sauce as though it were the missing last ingredient.

The best part? Change back from a $10 for a big portion, with plenty of white rice to soak up the rest of the sauce.


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