Chili Colorado, Authentic Mexican Style

Chili Colorado, Authentic Mexican Style , 3.0 out of 5 based on 533 ratings
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Tender and juicy chunks of beef slow simmered in a delicious authentic Mexican style chili colorado (red) sauce. The sauce is made from a blend of dry and fresh chilis, onion and peppers. Then combined with slow simmered chuck steak until the beef is fall apart tender. Wrap it in a warm tortilla with guacamole, shredded lettuce, cilantro and onions, YUM! Add some refried beans and rice and dig in!

Chili Colorado Plate 1Ingredients: Chili Colorado (Beef)

Chili Colorado Beef 14lbs. chuck roast

1 1/2 teas. salt

1 teas. pepper

2 teas. onion powder

1 teas. garlic powder

1 tbsp. oil

water to almost cover the meat

Note: Combine all of the dry seasonings into a bowl and mix well.

Method: Chili Colorado (Beef – 1st half of cooking)

Chili Colorado Beef 2Chili Colorado Beef 3Chili Colorado Beef 4Chili Colorado Beef 5Chili Colorado Beef 6Start by trimming off any excess fat and then dice into about 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes.

Preheat a large stock pot to high heat. Add about 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil to your pot and wait until it just starts to smoke.

Add 1/2 of the meat and 1/2 of the seasonings and sear on all sides. This will take about 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer the cooked beef to a large bowl and set aside for now.

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

Note: The reason for two batches is so that the meat will get a good sear. Adding all of the meat at once will “steam” it. In order to get a good sear there needs to be at least some space to stir and rotate to sear all sides.

When the second batch has seared pour the first batch back in and add enough water to almost cover.

Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat until you have a slow boil when covered.

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.)

We’ll finish simmering the meat in this beautiful sauce. You should have enough time to make the sauce while the meat is cooking.

Ingredients: Chili Colorado (Sauce)

Chili Colorado Sauce 1Chili Colorado Sauce 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)

1 big onion (or 2 small ones)

6-8 cloves fresh garlic

3 1/2 cups water

1 teas. salt

1 teas. dry Mexican oregano

1 teas. chili powder

1/2 teas. cumin powder

Method: Chili Colorado (Sauce)

Chili Colorado Sauce 3Chili Colorado Sauce 4Chili Colorado Sauce 5Chili Colorado Sauce 6Stem 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.

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

Add the reconstituted chilis, fresh veggies and “chili water” to a blender and blend until smooth. (You may have to do this in batches)

Pour the mixture into a medium to large sauce pan.

Add the seasonings and place on a burner over high heat to bring it to a boil.

Reduce the heat to about medium to medium low and simmer covered for about 30 to 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Your Colorado sauce is ready.

Note: This is a “concentrate”, it makes about 1/2 gallon so you’ll have some left over. It freezes well for up to 3 months. Dilute with water or broth and it can be used as an enchilada sauce or for a Mexican style rice and even as a taco sauce. It can also be used to slow simmer chicken or pork :-)

Another quick note: You can substitute a canned red enchilada sauce for a quicker and easier version if you like. I do recommend taking the extra time to make this sauce though, canned sauces just don’t compare to this fresh home made sauce.

Ingredients: Beef (2nd half of cooking)

Chili Colorado Cooking 1Chili Colorado Cooking 2Chili Coloradobeef (already simmering)

2-3 cups Colorado sauce

Method: Beef (2nd half of cooking)

Now that your beef has been simmering for an hour or so it should be getting soft and tender.

Add 2 to 3 cups of your sauce and stir it in.

Cover and simmer for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

It’s now ready.

Note: The longer you cook it the more tender it will get :-)


I’m using a cilantro and onion mix which is about 1/2 onion, fine diced mixed with 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped fresh cilantro, about 1/2 head of shredded lettuce and guacamole.

For the tortillas

Tortillas 2Tortillas 1Simply roll 2 to 4 small tortillas (corn or flour) up in a piece of foil and place in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, just long enough to warm them up. Serve on the side.

And there it is! Just add some of your favorite refried beans and rice and you’re all set!

Chili Colorado Plate 2This is an outstanding chili colorado recipe. I’m sure you’re gonna love it! The beef is so tender and juicy. The Colorado sauce is loaded with layers of flavor from the fresh and dried chilis and seasonings. The crispness of the lettuce, cilantro and onions adds a slight crunch and the guacamole is so refreshing. Wrap this up in a warm fresh tortilla and dig in! Happy Cooking!


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Chili Colorado, Authentic Mexican Style — 139 Comments

  1. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    I ran across this recipe on another site but wanted it to be a little more authentic, I ran across this one and it looked like it would be tastier with the ingredients it called for, I have tried the carni Asada burrito recipe from here and that was great, so with a six pack of beer in the fridge I started getting prepared, seared my meat in a cast iron skillet then put it in a electric skillet with the water the started in on the sauce, I was able to find the dried peppers here but no such luck finding mexican oregano, I had to guess at the dried peppers to use cause I don’t have a scale to weigh them, anyways several beers later had it ready, had to add some extra salt but it came out real good, I also made some homade refried beens so made some burritos with all this, I have plenty for more today, thanks for the recipe

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hey Karl,

      I like how you did them meat, that’s a great way to add a richer beef flavor.

      Don’t worry about the Mexican oregano, regular is just fine.

      As for the dry chili’s, I just look for the weight on the package and estimate the weight of what I’m using. It’s not a big deal if your a gram or two off and Your burritos sound delicious!

      Happy Cooking!

  2. VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    You mentioned using the sauce to make mexican rice. how much sauce would you mix with a cup of cooked rice? Thanks for posting this recipe, my family is so excited to try it!

    • VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for asking :-)

      This is a question of taste so here’s what I recommend… I’m assuming you’re using plain cooked white rice.

      Add your rice to a large bowl while its still hot. Add 2 to 3 tbsp. of sauce and stir to incorporate. I you have the right color and taste your done, or, you may have to stir in a little more sauce. Garnish with a little green onion if you like :-)

      Hope that helps and Happy Cooking!

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