HOMEMADE BEEF CHILE COLORADO RECIPE -True Mexican Comfort Food

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Beef Chile Colorado is one of those dishes that not only makes my taste buds sing but also provides a sense of security and comfort during these trying times by taking me back to a more nurturing place — my mother’s kitchen.

One of my greatest memories is having my mom fill a warm flour tortilla with the Chile Colorado and her delicious Charro Beans and hand me a burrito for my lunch bag (I even liked the chile colorado cold in a warm tortilla for some strange reason).

Our Beef Chile Colorado recipe has flavorful and tender pieces of chuck beef simmering in a mahogany colored chile sauce, building a rich, smoky, densely-flavored meal as the minutes pass by. As the stew slowly thickens, the flavor of the California, Pasilla, and New Mexico chiles come forward blending beautifully.

Chile Colorado can be traced back to Chihuahua, Mexico, where they also add flour and vinegar and can be made with either pork or beef. We have another recipe on our blog that features the dish with pork. You can find it here. Once you master making the red sauce, you’ll realize you can use it for other dishes as well, such as enchiladas or mix with shredded chicken. Enjoy!

Final Beef Chile Colorado 2

Beef Chile Colorado Collage

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Beef Chile Colorado

Tender beef simmers in a red chile sauce to make a traditional Mexican Chile Colorado. Serve with rice, beans and flour tortillas. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6
Author Stephen Chavez

Ingredients

  • 8 dried California chile peppers stems and seeds removed
  • 3 dried pasilla peppers stems and seeds removed
  • 5 dried chile de arbol peppers stems removed
  • 1 large yellow onion quartered
  • 4 cups beef broth divided in half
  • 6 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds chuck beef trimmed, cubed in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 dried bay leaves

Instructions

Making the Sauce

  1. In a large stockpot, add the dried chile peppers and onion. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

  2. Once water boils, turn off the heat, cover and let the chile peppers sit and soften for about 20 minutes. 

  3. Add softened chiles and onions to a blender along with 2 cups of the beef broth, garlic, cumin, and oregano and puree. 

  4. Over a large bowl, pour chile sauce mixture through a sieve, pressing on solids with a spatula to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids. 

Cooking the Beef

  1. Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper and toss in flour. The flour will help thicken the sauce. 

  2. In a heavy bottom sauce pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. 

  3. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides about 4 minutes per batch. Remove the meat and set aside. Continue to cook the remaining beef cubes. 

  4. In the same dutch oven, stir in the Chile Colorado sauce and the 2 remaining cups of beef broth and bay leaves over medium-high heat. 

  5. Bring to a rapid simmer and lower heat to medium-low. Add the meat back in and cook uncovered for about 1 hour to allow the liquid to thicken and reduce. 

  6. Discard bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

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10 Comments

  1. […] our own taco bar, cooking various guisados or stewed meats, such as chicharrones en salsa verde, chile Colorado and carne asada. Warm corn tortillas and set out bowls of onions, cilantro, and salsa and – […]

  2. This is a dish I grew up on but never learned to make until today. I followed the recipe exactly although I did not have pasilla chiles on hand. I used 11 california chiles and 2 chile de arbol because I have a spice sensitive gringo husband, lol. Next time I might add 2 more chile de arbol. This was so delicious, I really do feel like a real mexican cook. I look forward to exploring the other recipes. Thanks for such an easy recipe, this is great comfort food that I remember!

    • It warms our hearts (and pansas) to know you enjoyed the recipe. Next time you make it we’d love to see a photo!

  3. I just made this dish with the frijoles charros and Spanish rice for cinco de mayo. It turned out wonderful. I followed the recipe but I had to double it because I have a large family. We actually had enough left over for dinner tomorrow. I just want to thank you for the recipes. I am part Hispanic and I have had trouble with making chile. Again thank you!

    • Stephen Chavez

      Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed the recipe.

  4. When do you put the meat back in?

    • Stephen Chavez

      Hi Don – Bring to a rapid simmer and lower heat to medium-low. Add the meat back in and cook uncovered for about 1 hour to allow the liquid to thicken and reduce. Hope you enjoy the recipe.

  5. I haven’t made this in a while, so I wanted to look up the recipe to jog my memory. My father is from Chihuahua (so is my beautiful grandmother, the best Mexican cook ever!!!). Guess it was meant to be….thanks!!!!

    • Stephen Chavez

      Hope you and your father enjoyed the beef chile colorado.

  6. OMG! The best ever. Many years we tried many, many recipes, non met our high expectation, your did. Our favorite Mexican restaurant wouldn’t give us their recipe. Your Chile Colorado is excellent! Freezes great! Next time we make we are going to double the recipe. My husband grew up in San Francisco, many years ago he would get Mexican food at a little dive called The Hot House, could never duplicate the flavor. Thanks to you, you made our dream come true.

    • Stephen Chavez

      Darleen – This makes us so happy to hear. Thank you and glad you enjoyed it. Truly is one of my (Stephen) favorite Mexican meals EVER !!!! 🙂 Happy Cooking!

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