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Homemade Chili Colorado in a blue bowl

Homemade Chili Colorado

Tender chucks of meat are simmered slowly in a rich red chili sauce to make a delicious Homemade Chili Colorado. :Perfect for enchiladas, tostadas, or just a bowl of.
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Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 45 mins
Course Main Course, Soups, Stews & Chili
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 8
Calories 514 kcal


  • 4 - 5 dried California chiles stemmed and seeded
  • 2 - 3 dried New Mexico chilies stemmed and seeded
  • 2 Ancho chiles stemmed and seeded or pasilla
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder or to taste
  • Chile powder as needed to adjust the final product
  • 4 - 5 pounds beef chuck cut into medium-sized cubes (not quite an inch, not quite a half-inch, just a nice bite size
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons oil I use only grape seed oil or olive oil, for this grape seed
  • 2 tablespoons flour for a thicker sauce, if desired
  • Optional Tostada Fixins
  • Refried or black beans lightly mash whole black beans
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce I don't usually recommend iceberg lettuce, but for this, the crunch is necessary
  • Diced tomatoes or Pico de Gallo
  • Diced onions
  • Shredded Mexican cheese
  • Sliced black olives optional
  • Guacamole optional
  • Sour cream optional
  • Taco sauces of your choice
  • Crisp corn tortillas


  • Place the chilies in a saucepan, cover with the water and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes; cover, turn off the heat and allow to sit for 30 minutes. After at least 30 minutes, drain the chilies, reserving the liquid. Place in a blender along with the garlic, salt, oregano, cumin and cloves along with a small amount of the cooking liquid; blend until smooth. (if you don't have a very powerful blender that makes a smooth paste, pass through a food mill using a medium grade disk, or a sieve to remove skins.) You should now have a very smooth and rich chili sauce. Set – aside. 
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F
    In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat the oil. Season the meat well with salt and pepper, and then add to the pot all at once, you don’t want to brown the meat, you just want to take the red off it and allow it to release its juices. Just stir the meat, (it will look gray, not brown); once the meat has been cooked and is simmering in its own juices, add the optional flour, if using. Cook stirring for a minute or two or until the flour starts to thicken the juices, then add the chili sauce and the reserved liquid from steeping the chilies. Stir in the cocoa powder. If the meat is not covered, add a little water or beef broth to cover completely. Bring to a simmer, then cover tightly and place in the oven. Allow to cook 2 ½ to 3 hours, or until the meat is extremely tender. Using care (and mitts) remove from the oven, taste and adjust seasonings with salt, chili powder, and additional chocolate, oregano or cumin, and cayenne pepper as desired.
  • You can eat a bowl of this, topped with some chopped onion and cheese (cheddar or cotija); serve some corn or flour tortillas alongside. Or continue on and make tostadas.
  • To make the Tostada Brush the tortillas on both sides with oil and bake on a cookie sheet in a 350°F oven for about 10 – 15 minutes or until crispy, turn a couple of times. 
  • Place the crisp tortilla on a plate; top with refried or black beans; a nice helping of Chili Colorado, then top with the toppings of your choice. I like to add another bit of the chili on the top of the veggies, then add the Guac and sour cream.


LindySez: You can also make this Homemade Chili Colorado in your slow-cooker; once you have “greyed” the meat and added the sauce, put into the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4. If you want to use a pressure cooker, you can do that as well. Use slightly less liquid when making in the pressure cooker, as it retains the moisture much better than other cooking methods. If you like your Chili Colorado a little more on the thick side; add 2 tablespoons of flour to the meat once its juice has rendered. Stir well, then proceed with the recipe. 


Serving: 1gSodium: 524mgSugar: 4gFiber: 4gCholesterol: 198mgCalories: 514kcalTrans Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gFat: 21gProtein: 68gCarbohydrates: 16g
Keyword chili, dried chilies
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