It’s hard to find a better one-pot meal. If you’re a big chili fan, this is one recipe you want to have in your chili recipes repertoire. You can check out my growing collection of chili recipes here.
We’re talking Chili Colorado, my friends, and it’s a great one.
WHAT IS CHILI COLORADO?
Chili Colorado is a traditional Mexican recipe of pork or beef stewed nice and slow in a rich red chili sauce. While you might think it is a dish of the state of Colorado, that is not the case.
The name derives from the Spanish word “colorado”, which means “colored red”, named because of the deep red color of the sauce.
It’s crazy delicious, and it’s all about the chili peppers.
Here’s how you do it. Take 5 anchos, 2 pasillas, and 2 guajillos, and remove the stems and seeds. Look for chiles that are soft and pliable, like a raisin. If they are brittle, they are old and will be flavorless—don’t use them!
Cover chiles with 3 cups of boiling chicken stock and let them steam, covered with plastic wrap, for about 30 minutes until they are plump and tender. Put the chiles and all of the soaking liquid into a blender and purée until very smooth.
Cut 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder into ½” pieces, season with salt and pepper, and brown the meat in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat with a little bit of vegetable oil to keep it from sticking. Chop up a bunch of garlic (about 6 garlic cloves) and throw it in the pot along with two bay leaves, a tablespoon of ground cumin, and a couple of teaspoons of chopped fresh sage and chopped fresh oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it). Stir that around for about a minute, or until very fragrant. Add in 5 cups of chicken stock and simmer uncovered for about an hour. Then, stir in the chile purée and simmer for another 45 minutes until the meat is very tender and the sauce is a thick, mahogany-red color. Season with additional salt and pepper.