Chile Colorado con Carne

This is an update of what was apparently one of my most popular posts on this site. And while I hate to snuff out an old favorite, this new version is much improved with better photos and a refined, delicious and totally perfected (ifIdosaysomyself) recipe.

Chile Colorado con Carne
(beef in red chile sauce)


5 dried New Mexican chiles
4 dried chiles de Arbol
2 dried Ancho chiles
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup beef broth
1 small white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Bring a small pot of water to boil. Cut the heads off the chiles and shake out all the seeds. Cut the chiles up with a pair of scissors or rip them by hand into small pieces. Place the chiles into a non-reactive bowl and pour enough boiling water into the bowl to cover the chiles. Place a lid over the bowl and allow to sit for 30 minutes to soften the chiles.

Transfer the chiles to a blender and add 3/4 cup of the soaking water. Blend until very smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the olive oil in heavy pot or large skillet over medium high heat. Add the meat and brown well on all sides. Don’t crowd the pan! Take the time to really brown the beef; cook it in batches, if necessary. Add another tablespoon of olive oil if the pan starts to get too dry.

Once all the meat is browned and back in the pan, add the beef broth, stir, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

Add the chile puree, onion, garlic, Mexican oregano, cumin, salt and pepper and mix well.

Cover and simmer until the beef is very tender, about 1 hour.

Serve with Spanish rice and corn tortillas.


What can I say? We pretty much inhale our portions every time we eat this. We adore it and would be willing to bet you’ll adore it, too. It’s spicy and smoky and everything a Mexican dish beginning with dried chiles should be.


9 thoughts on “Chile Colorado con Carne

  1. oh look at those gorgeous chilis…the color is just perfect. I have always wanted to make a chili with cuts of beef like that. Hubby would be seriously be over the moon with this.


  2. Elliott, what a lovely thing to say. But I swear most of this is simmering time. 😉 Hope you try it and enjoy.

    Aggie, it's so easy, but has that wonderful complexity that only dried chiles can bring.


  3. Pingback: Puerco en Chile Colorado | Hunt, Cook, Eat

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