It's Sacramento Beer Week folks! If you can't get out to one of the myriad of activities going on around town, that's ok- you can still celebrate at home. Pick up a 6-pack or a growler of your favorite local brew and make a beer-based recipe. I made a big batch of delicious Chile Colorado recently and it went over like gangbusters with Mr.S and the kidlets. The Chile Colorado recipe was acquired from my friend Cary Miller, he's brought this magical concoction to some of our potlucks and I've always found myself going back for a second helping- it's that good! You can use any kind of light beer you want. I just happened to have some Blue Moon leftover so I used that (I actually threw in a bit more than 1 bottle--shhh!). Next time I might try and use one of my favorite beers from Berryessa or Track 7. The recipe is a bit labor intensive so make a big batch- you won't regret it. We got a couple of meals out of ours. The kidlets especially loved it over rice but you can use it in tacos, burritos or eat with eggs for breakfast.

(Art Source: Heather Calderon)

Cary's Chile Colorado (recipe reprinted with permission)

  • 8 New Mexico Chiles  (dried)
  • One bottle of beer  (what's your poison?)
  • 8 pounds of beef  (Boneless Beef Chuck Roast. Preferably already cut into cubes.)
  • One large yellow onion
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 3 cloves of garlic  (finely minced)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Bring three cups of water to a boil. Place your dried chiles in the boiling water, cover, and turn off the heat. Let sit for 20 minutes, or until the chiles are reconstituted.
2. In the mean time, dice up your large yellow onion, and sauté it in a pan with 1 Tbs butter. Cook until it starts to caramelize, then set aside.
3. If the meat isn't already cut into cubes, do so now. You will want roughly 1.5" cubes, depending on your preference. Put 1 Tbs butter in a large stock pot, turn your heat to medium, and sear all of your cubed meat, preferably in small batches, so that all sides of beef are seared.
4. When you are done searing in batches, place all of the beef back in the stockpot.
5. Add the sautéed onions, one bottle of beer (whatever you like... I prefer something kind of light for this recipe) three cloves of garlic (minced,) and salt and pepper to the stockpot as well. Let the stock pot sit without heat while you prepare the New Mexico chiles.
6. Put your re-constituted chiles on a cutting board (setting aside the water they were cooked in) and cut their tops off, then slice them open and remove all of the seeds (it's easiest to do this under running water.)
7. Place all of the chiles in a blender and add whatever is left of the three cups of water that you boiled. Blend until pureed. Get it as smooth as you can. Then filter through a mesh, or something similar, to get rid of any stringy pieces of skin, etc.
8. Pour the chile sauce you've just created into the stock pot, and mix everything around really good. If needed, add a bit of water (or more beer!) to just cover the beef with liquid. Bring the entire mixture to a boil, over medium heat, and then set the temp to low and slow-cook, without a lid, for three hours or so.
9. If the liquid gets too far below the meat you can always add more liquid (water, beef broth, beer,) but it will generally stay pretty wet in the pot if you cook it on a nice, low temperature.
10. Stir the pot once ever 30 minutes or so. Chile Colorado is done when you can easily break the meat apart with a fork -- remember, we want Melt In Your Mouth Goodness!!
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2 Responses
  1. grace Says:

    i've never seen a recipe for chile with so few ingredients, but that's definitely not a bad thing!

  2. Ally Says:

    Hi Grace! This is for Chile Colorado not chili. Chile Colorado is Tex-Mex based and does not use beans or tomatoes. It's more of a slow simmered sauce or saucy stew/ guisado. It's not meant to have a lot of ingredients. If you use it in tacos or burritos you can doctor it up with veggies, cheese, guac, etc. On rice you can eat it like you would a curry. ☺

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