Chili Colorado

Rev 0.11, last revised:  14-Feb-10

Chili "Colorado" refers to the red color derived from the Ancho or Pasilla chilies used to make it.  'Chile Colorado con Carne' translates to "Red Chile with Meat."  A perfect fit with how I cook, this delicious dish is made with chunks of beef, slow cooked in a red chili sauce with chilies, onions, garlic, and other spices.  If your taste runs to "green" chili, check out my Chili Verde recipe.  Serves 6 - 10.



Sweet and somewhat mild, it's the Ancho (sometimes called Pasilla) chilies that are at the heart of this recipe.  They give the sauce a rich, dark color as they provide their unique, slightly spicy/smoky flavor.  To use them, remove the stems and seeds.  Finely chop the chilies and place them in bowl.  Cover with boiling beef broth (or water) and let them steep for about 30 minutes or so.

Heat oil in large Dutch oven or other suitable vessel.  Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until soft and lightly browned.  Add garlic, salt and beef cubes.  Cook, stirring constantly, stopping when the beef loses its pink color.

Strain the chilies, reserving the liquid.  Stir about 2-1/2 cups of the chili liquid into beef.  Add the chili powder, ground cumin, oregano, and the brown sugar.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered over medium-low heat for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

Place soaked chilies and remaining liquid in blender, cover and blend until smooth (If necessary, add 1/2-cup or  more of water to make blending easier).  Add to beef and continue to cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender.

If a thicker chili is desired, gradually stir in cornmeal, a tablespoon at a time, stirring constantly while the mixture is cooking until thickened as desired. Taste and season with salt to taste.

Remove from heat and ladle into bowls. 

Serving Suggestions:  Serve with thick, warm flour tortillas, black beans, a green salad, and a cellar-cool beer.  You can enjoy it as is, or you can add a variety of other condiments such as chopped yellow peppers, red onions, tomatoes, avocado, fresh lime juice, grated cheese, sliced green onion, shredded cheddar cheese, and/or sour cream.