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Chili Colorado Recipe

Submitted by on May 26, 2012 – 8:03 am6 Comments

A repost from 2010 and something that has little to do with booze other than the fact that it’s good with beer.  Enjoy!

My single favorite food flavor comes from slow braised dried Mexican chili sauces. I learned to love this flavor while eating at a local burrito place in the small west Los Angeles town named Culver City. That burrito was called the Regular Burrito with Cheese and the place was, and still is, called Tito’s Tacos. Just thinking of this place and that burrito makes my mouth water.

This chili colorado, a very authentic Mexican chili with no tomatoes or beans, is my attempt to copy Tito’s famous burrito and uses cheap beef braised long and slow with toasted New Mexico chilies. It is a very simple recipe that really requires patience more than anything. The most important step, however, is the toasting of the chilies in an oil-less skillet just until they smoke. You shouldn’t let them brown too much. This is toasting for a few seconds a side which is all it takes to create a much more complex flavor from the chilies.

To make the burrito of my youth, simply roll the chili colorado below up in an oversized flour tortilla with an equal amount of good refried beans and ample amount of sharp cheddar and and you can call it a day! You could go cocktail, such as a rocks margarita here, but I think a good bottle (or two) of Bohemia Mexican beer is called for. They make for great bar food when wrapped up in smaller flour tortillas. Enjoy!


chilicolorado Chili Colorado Recipe

Chili Colorado


12 New Mexico dry chiles – washed, with stems and seeds removed

3 cups water

5 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed of fat

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon black pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cups beef stock or water


Heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Place chiles on skillet 4 at a time and toast for 30 seconds per side. Before flipping each chile, press flat against the skillet with a spatula to heat the entire chile. Flip chiles and repeat.

Place chiles and 3 cups water into a medium stockpot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and steep for 30 minutes to soften. Strain into a bowl, reserving the cooking liquid. Place the chiles and some of the liquid into a blender, and puree until smooth. Add more liquid as necessary to form a smooth sauce. Pass sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove any seeds and the tough skins; set aside.

Cut the roast into 1 to 2 inch chunks. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the beef chunks in the seasoned flour; set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beef chunks a few at a time, so as not to overcrowd the pot, and cook until evenly brown. Remove cooked meat, and continue browning remaining meat. Return reserved cooked meat to the pot.

Stir in pureed chile mixture. Add beef stock to just cover beef chunks, or to personal preference. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to lowest setting, mostly cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 3 hours, or until meat is tender. If necessary, adjust with more stock during cooking.

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  • larry says:

    There is no listing of beef stock in the list of ingredients.

  • Tim Brice says:

    Hey Lary,

    Sorry for the late response. It is at the bottom of the list under the onions. Kind of gets lost on the page due to the picture I think.

  • E Sollars says:

    Well, it’s now fall and I’m harvesting a mixed variety of home grown chilis. Since they’re fresh and not dried I wondered if this will still work ok. None are super-hot but they did cause skin burning because I didn’t wear gloves when I seeded and chopped the last batch. I won’t do that again! Thanks in advance for any advice you can give me.

  • Tim Brice says:

    Fresh chilis won’t give you the same silky texture or depth of taste. There are many great sauces made from fresh chilis though. Search the google machine for something called salsa cocida and riff off that.

  • Cosmo says:

    I see a very red sauce but nothing in the list of ingredients to make it so. Maybe some fresh Roma tomatoes or canned would do the trick.

  • Tim Brice says:

    The sauce is made red by the 12 New Mexican chilis. No tomatoes here my friend.

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