Chile Colorado

In my ongoing quest for boneless short rib recipes, I’ve made chile colorado several times. Last year for Cinco de Mayo, in fact, I made the version above, compete with homemade tortillas and refried beans, Mexican rice and guacamole. The beef recipe employed what I imagine to be a fairly traditional approach to the sauce, toasting ancho chiles and roasting tomato, onion and garlic. It was delicious, but I rarely keep whole ancho peppers in the house, so I haven’t made it again.

In March, I tried out another version of chile colorado, likely less authentic but more readily prepared from my pantry staples and equally delicious, with a richly flavored sauce. We’ve made it several times since, and think it’s a keeper. The original recipe calls for pork, but I’m perfectly happy with my pork carnitas recipe, so I use boneless beef short ribs for this instead. We stuff the tender beef in soft tacos with homemade tortillas, some sort of rice (most recently a medley of brown, red, black, and wild rice), and shredded Cheddar, but you could employ any sort of Mexican garnish. I should note that this is not a spicy dish, which suits my sensitive tongue just fine, but it would be easy to punch up the heat with more chipotle or other peppers.

Chile Colorado

3 lbs lean boneless pork butt or beef ribs
2 T olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ancho chili powder
2 T chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp chipotle powder
1 3/4 C water
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 T tomato paste
1/2 C whipping cream

Trim meat and cut into one inch cubes. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add meat in batches and cook until richly browned. Remove from pan; add onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and cumin; cook until onion is limp. Stir in water, sugar, tomato paste and salt; make sure there is enough liquid just to cover the meat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until very tender. Skim off fat and discard. Add cream, and simmer uncovered, stirring periodically and breaking up the meat a bit, until sauce thickens. Serve over rice, or in warm tortillas with cheese, rice, sour cream or any other desired garnishes.

An easy way to defat this dish, as with most braises, is to make it in advance and refrigerate several hours or overnight, long enough to allow the fat to solidify for quick removal.

Source: Adapted from Javaholic.

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