Chili Colorado


Four pounds chuck roast
Two and a half cups water
One tablespoon salt
Two bay leaves
Two cups tomato purée
One teaspoon ground cumin
One teaspoon black pepper
One teaspoon dry oregano
One clove garlic, peeled and minced
One teaspoon allspice
Five dried California chiles
Approximately two cups boiling water


In a large sauce pot over medium-high heat, put the meat, two cups water, salt and bay leaves. When the liquid reaches a simmer, turn the heat down to medium and cook for 45 minutes.
Take the pot off the heat, allow the mixture to cool and then cut the beef in one-and-one-half inch cubes. Reserve the broth.
While the meat is cooling, stem and seed the California chiles. Put them in a bowl, pour the two cups of boiling water over them to cover and weigh them down with a small plate so they stay under water. Let them sit for about 15 minutes or until rehydrated.
Strain the chiles and purée them in a blender jar with the tomato purée, cumin, black pepper, dry oregano, garlic, allspice and the reserved broth.
Pour the purée into a large sauté pan and cook for one hour over medium-low heat, stirring frequently.
Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, return to the sauté pan, add the meat cubes and cook for an additional 10 minutes, then serve.


Ron Salisbury, third-generation owner of El Cholo in Southern California, contributed this recipe to our cookbook, West Coast Prime Meats Cooks. The Chili Colorado has been on El Cholo’s menu since Day One along with the enchilada combinations and the Sonoran enchilada, a stacked affair topped with a fried egg.

Chef's Tip
Whenever working with dried chiles, first remove the stems and seeds, as the seeds could make the sauce too hot and bitter. At El Cholo, we do not toast our chiles first; instead, we draw the flavor from the chiles by slowly simmering the sauces for several hours. Also, we recommend that cooks use a blender instead of a food processor to purée chile sauces, to achieve a smooth consistency. Traditional Mexican cooks would pulverize the dried chiles on a stone implement called a metate, but in modern kitchens, blenders handle the job once the sauce is cooked.


Serves Four


Saturday, March 12, 2016 - 11:47am

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