Last updated on August 7th, 2018 at 11:24 am
This rich and hearty Chile Colorado recipe is lip-smacking good! Beef chunks are simmered in a Mexican style red chile sauce until fall-apart tender. A delicious meal in itself and perfect for tacos or smothered burritos!
This easy homemade beef stew recipe starts with whole dried chiles and spices that are blended into a flavor-packed red chile sauce. Yes, this is the real deal! No canned sauce here! But don’t let that stop you, this delicious beef stew is the ultimate mouthwatering comfort meal!
My oldest son and I used to go to a Mexican restaurant in Moorpark, California that in our opinion makes the best ever Chile Colorado! The chunks of beef were tender, tasty and the sauce was thick and bold. Not really spicy, just full-bloom flavorful with a little kick at the end from all the chiles.
We’ve been looking for a place that makes a similar Mexican stew in our new home state without any luck. So what else can we do? Make it at home! After a few trials and some errors we think this is the best beef stew!
How To Make Beef Stew
In this particular stew recipe is all about the chile colorado sauce. If you never made red chile sauce from scratch and are used to using ground chile powder, don’t worry! It’s actually as easy as toasting, soaking and blending!
Preparing the Red Chile Sauce:
- Use gloves if you have very sensitive skin.
- Grab a dry chile and remove the stem by pulling it.
- Open up the chile (use kitchen shears, if needed) and scrape off the seeds and any ribs.
- If the chile is small (like chile de arbol), after pulling the stem, turn the opening down and squeeze the seeds out by gently massaging the chile.
- Toast the chiles in the microwave – yes! you heard me right! I learned this method from serious eats. Place the chiles on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 30 seconds total (do it in two 15 second intervals). They should be toasty and pliable.
- Microwave water (or broth) until warm. Submerge the chiles into the liquid, cover and microwave again for about 2 minutes.
- Add the chiles and liquid into the blender and process until smooth.
- If you do not like using the microwave, you can toast the chiles on a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat, turning the chiles as needed. Also you can boil water (or broth) and soak the chiles in the liquid for 30 minutes. At this point, you are ready for blending!
Please note that this chile colorado sauce also includes a fire roasted tomato. Check “How To Roast a Tomato” on the recipe notes. If pressed for time, you can use canned roasted tomatoes.
I am providing instructions on how to make this delicious chili colorado on the stove top, in the slow cooker and also in the oven. Choose whatever method works best for you!
- Dried chiles are available at most supermarkets and super stores. You can also get them on Amazon.
- You can mix and match different chiles. Good options are Guajillo Chile , New Mexico Chile, Ancho Chile, Pasilla Chile and Chile de Arbol
- I am not a big fan of canned beef broth. I don’t think it has any beefy flavor. I use canned chicken broth in this recipe instead. If you have homemade Beef Stock or Chicken Stock, those are your best options.
- When blending hot liquids, make sure you to hold the blender’s lid down with a kitchen towel to prevent a big messy blow out! Also, always start blending in the lowest setting.
- Do you love all things beef? Check out my recipe for Spicy Chipotle Shredded Beef Barbacoa (my copycat version of Chipotle) and this classic and delicious Beef Stew in Red Wine.
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- 3 dried Guajillo chiles
- 4 dried New Mexico Chiles
- 2 dried Chile de Arbol chiles
- 4 cups chicken broth or beef stock, divided
- 1 tomato roasted
- 4 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons masa harina
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the stems and seeds from the chiles.
Place the chiles on a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high for 30 seconds total (2 intervals of 15 seconds each).
Heat 2 cups of chicken broth until warm - you can do this in the microwave by using a microwave safe 2-quart liquid measuring cup or bowl. Submerge the chiles into the broth, cover and microwave for about 2 minutes.
Place the chiles and liquid into a blender and process until smooth. About 1 minute.
Add the roasted tomato (roasting instructions on the notes area of this recipe), and blend for about 2 minutes or until smooth.
Coat a large, wide pan or Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. Add the beef to the hot pan in batches and in a single layer making sure you do not over crowd the pot. Sear on all sides until the beef turns golden brown. Remove the seared beef to a plate and continue searing until all the beef is browned.
Add the onions to the pot (add a bit more oil if needed), and sautè for about 3 - 4 minutes or until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the spices and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly.
Add the beef (and any collected meat juices) back to the pot. Add the chile paste and the remaining broth. Stir to combine.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook stirring occasionally until the meat is tender, about 2 hours.
If Cooking in the Oven:
Preheat the oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the covered pot in the oven and cook for 1.5 hours or until the beef is tender.
If Cooking In the Slow Cooker: Place the seared beef and vegetables, chile paste and broth into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 - 7 hours, or on high for 4 hours or until the meat is tender.
In a small bowl mix the masa harina with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid (beef juices or use water or broth) Mix well until smooth.
Stir the masa harina mix and the vinegar into the beef stew and simmer on the stove top for 5 minutes. (If using a slow cooker, set the crockpot to high and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes). Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can season with bouillon as well (optional). Serve!
How To Roast a Tomato:
Heat a small cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the tomato and cook, turning often until lightly charred.
You can also charred the tomato in the oven under the broil, turning it often.
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