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!
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.
- 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
Making the Sauce
In a large stockpot, add the dried chile peppers and onion. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
Once water boils, turn off the heat, cover and let the chile peppers sit and soften for about 20 minutes.
Add softened chiles and onions to a blender along with 2 cups of the beef broth, garlic, cumin, and oregano and puree.
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
Season the beef cubes with salt and pepper and toss in flour. The flour will help thicken the sauce.
In a heavy bottom sauce pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
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.
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.
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.
Discard bay leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste.