Chile Colorado

By Alison Needham

This authentic Mexican-style chile is different from most because it doesn't contain beans or tomatoes.  But it's spicy and delicious and will warm you from the inside out.  Because it has so few ingredients, make sure you buy good quality ones, especially the meat.  Look for dried chiles in the Latin section of your supermarket--fresh ones will still be pliable.  Eat this dish on its own, or use it as a filling for burritos or tamales.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 1/2 hours
Yield: serves 6


9 dried whole pasilla or ancho chiles
2 cups boiling water
3 pounds beef chuck cut in cubes
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups low sodium beef or chicken stock
2 teaspoons cumin


1. Pour boiling water over chiles and soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile put flour, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag. Add beef and shake to coat. Heat about 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a large dutch oven and brown meat in batches (about 4).

2. After chiles have softened, remove the stems and discard and place the chiles in a blender with the garlic and with enough soaking water to purée them into a smooth paste. Strain mixture through a sieve to remove seeds and skin and place in the Dutch oven along with all the beef, cumin and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours or until beef is tender.

3. Serve with tortillas and rice and beans.