Recipe | Chili Colorado

2:27 PM

We love Mexican food around here. If we go out to dinner, there's a 90% chance that it's for Mexican food. Chili Colorado is one of our favorites, but taking a hot mess of a toddler & a baby into a restaurant is a no-go recently, so we decided to make it here at home, so we can have it whenever it sounds good.  I had a hard time finding a solid and authentic tasting recipe, but I did find this one, and just made a few adaptations. Tender and juicy chunks of beef, slow simmered in a delicious Mexican-style Chili Colorado sauce wrapped in a warm tortilla (or over rice) with guac, shredded lettuce & cilantro -YUM!

General thoughts.. you can definitely make this sauce ahead of time. Make it on the weekend for a weeknight dinner. Just make sure you freeze it if you aren't using it within 5-7 days to keep it fresh. The leftovers are great, the flavors in the sauce meld together perfectly. This does call for quite a few peppers (I found them all at our local grocery store in the Latin food section), but they are all mild in heat. I only use one jalapeno for the sauce, and it ends up mild enough for Aria to enjoy with us.  If you like it hot, you could definitely add in more jalapeno or use Serrano peppers instead.

Chili Colorado

Serves 6-8
  • 2-4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • Beef 4lbs. bottom round or chuck steak
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • water to almost cover the meat

1. Trim off excess fat and cube the beef into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Combine all of the dry seasonings into a bowl.

2. Preheat a large stock pot to high heat. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil, the minced garlic & onion 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

3. Add 1/2 of the meat and 1/2 of the seasonings and sear on all sides. Transfer the cooked beef to a large bowl and set aside.

Repeat with the rest of the meat, seasonings and oil.

*Note: Searing the beef in two batches allows for a good sear. Adding all of the meat at once will “steam” it.

When the second batch has seared, pour the first batch back into the pot, add the beef broth, then top with enough water to cover the beef.

4.  Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.  Keep it covered and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. (You should have about the same amount of water at the end of this hour, if you notice the water evaporating just add a little more when needed.)

While the meat simmers, make the sauce.

Chili Colorado Sauce

yields 1/2 gallon 
  • 22oz. dry pasillo-ancho chilis (dry pablanos)
  • 1 1/2oz. dry guajillo-entero chilis (dry Anaheim chilis)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 fresh Anaheim chili
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers (depends on how hot you like it)
  • 2 small white onions, diced
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dry Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
1. Stem and seed the dry chilis and add them to a large bowl. Cover with 3 1/2 cups hot water to reconstitute. Soak for about 20 minutes or until soft.

2. Cut, seed and stem the fresh Anaheim chili, green pepper and jalapenos (seeds are optional) into large chunks for easy blending.

3. Add the reconstituted chilis, fresh veggies and “chili water” to a blender and blend until smooth. You may have to do this in batches. If your blender is like mine and can't seem to manage to make a smooth sauce, strain it through a fine mesh sieve to eliminate the pepper skin bits.. (I learned this lesson after making the first batch).

4. Pour the mixture into a medium sauce pan. Add the seasonings and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer covered for about 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Your Colorado sauce is ready. Yay!

*Note: This is a sauce“concentrate”, it makes about 1/2 gallon so you’ll have plenty left over. It freezes well for up to 3 months. I found portioning 2 cups at a time into freezer ziploc bags and freezing flat made life easier.  Dilute with water or broth and it can be used as an enchilada sauce, Mexican-style rice or as a taco sauce. It can also be used to slow simmer chicken or pork.

6.  Now that your beef has been simmering for an hour or so it should be getting soft and tender.  Add 2 cups of sauce and stir it in.

7. Cover and simmer for another hour, this allows the beef to become super tender, it should just fall apart when to take a bite.

Serve over rice, cauli-rice, sweet potatoes, with or without tortillas, refried beans & cheese if you please.. Fresh cilantro, green onion, shredded lettuce, avocado, pico de gallo, & guacamole are amazing toppings.

Let me know what you think! I'd love to hear how it turns out, any modifications and feedback.. just scroll to the bottom to comment! Be sure to tag me on insta @mckenzie_wheeler

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