Chili Colorado | Chili Con Carne

Chili Colorado made with beef cheek meat, served with steamed white rice, green onions and Cilantro.

Mexican Beef Chili

Most Texans believe they have the best chili in the world and they’re not wrong but there are some other Beef Chili recipes out there that have become an American Staple on Mexican Food. This Chili Colorado or Chili Con Carne, as it’s known in Tex Mex, is a great example. It’s origins, however, derive their flavor from the Chili Colorado, which means, ” Red Chili”; hence the name.

Stainless Steel bowl with a dozen Guajillo Chili’s.

The Chili Sauce Peppers

The very essence of this recipe comes from the flavor of the Chili Peppers that are cooked down and blended together, with a few other ingredients. Being that this recipe is called, “Chili Colorado” it would be assumed that the Colorado Chili should be used and, technically, that’s true but there are a few others that can be used that are practically the same thing.

California and Guajillo Chilis can be used as well. The only main difference is that they technically belong to different pepper families, though, all portraying that beautiful burgundy hugh that gives this recipe it’s rich color and flavor.

Though, 3/4 of the dried peppers I use in this recipe are red chili’s, it’s quite common to add a few dried Pasilla pods as well. These peppers are much darker and look and smell like a cross between a pepper and a prune. All of which are de-seeded and have the stems removed, before cooking.

40 oz of red chili sauce in a large container and spoonful of sauce.
2.75 lbs of cubed and seasoned beef cheek meat in a large stainless steel bowl.

The Beef you should use

In this recipe I’m using Beef Cheek Meat, which takes a lot longer to tenderize when it’s cooking. In fact, unlike how I demonstrate in the video tutorial, it took me 6 hours of braising to get this meat to break down the connective tissue and become tender enough to eat. Big but here, though, the flavor Cabasa or “Cheek Meat” gives off is stronger, like lamb or venison. If you have either of those available, for a good price, I recommend using those instead. Otherwise, for this recipe, stick with a couple of lbs of Beef Chuck.

Chili Colorado/Chili Con Carne, in a large pot, ready to be served.
How to make Chili Colorado video tutorial by PoorMansGourmet.
How to make Red Chili Sauce video tutorial by PoorMansGourmet.
Chili Colorado Ingredients:

4 to 5 lbs Beef Chuck, cut into 1″ to 2″ inch pieces

Guajillo or Chili Sauce

12 Guajillo Chili pods, stemmed and de-seeded
3 Pasilla Chili pods, stemmed and de-seeded
3 qt. Water
5 Cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Knorr Chicken Bouillon
1 tbsp Cumin, ground
1 tbsp Mexican Oregano, dried
Adobe All Purpose seasoning to taste (1/4 to 1/2 tsp)

Meat and Seasoning

Beef, Pork or Chicken

Kosher Salt and Pepper, evenly sprinkle
1 tbsp Smoked Paprika, evenly sprinkle (optional)
1 tbsp Ground Cumin, evenly sprinkle (optional)

Sear seasoned meat ,10 to 12 minutes, under Broiler or in a pan or on a Grill. Then Braise in Guajillo Sauce 1 1/2, lid on, another 1/2 hour, lid off to reduce sauce, if needed. Otherwise, keep the lid on. 2 hours full cook time.

This is great, served with steamed rice or in tacos and burritos.

Roasted Salsa Verde

A Glass bowl full of fresh homemade Roasted Salsa Verde.

The Best Salsa Verde

If you’re a fan of Mexican food and you love a good salsa, you have got try this Roasted Salsa Verde recipe. It’s made with fresh Tomatillos, Anaheim, Jalapeno and Poblano Peppers, some onion and roasted garlic that is blended together with a few other spices to really make it pop. It pairs well with practically any meat, for tacos and burritos, and tastes great over eggs or nachos.

Two other recipes I posted in the past, that are similar to this one, is my Green Enchilada Sauce and my Pork Chili Verde. My Fire Roasted Salsa is probably the most popular though. Anyone who’s tried these recipes raved about the finished product so, I highly suggest you move into those posts if you fancy this recipe.

3 Tomatillos, 6 Anaheim peppers, 1 Jalapeno, 2 Poblano peppers, 1 onion cut in half, and 4 garlic cloves on a perforated pizza pan. Also 2 Roma tomatoes and 1 bunch of Cilantro.
How to make Roasted Salsa Verde video tutorial by PoorMansGourmet.

Fire Roasted Chili Salsa Verde Ingredients: 5 cups, 40 oz.

6 Anaheim Peppers, fire roasted
3 Poblano Peppers, fire roasted
1/2 Large Onion, fire roasted
2 Roma Tomatoes
1/2 bunch Cilantro
5 Cloves Garlic, large
1 Lime, squeezed

1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Knorr Chicken Bouillon
1/2 tsp Turmeric

Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste (several pinches)

Watch the short video tutorial and I’ll show you exactly how easy it is to make this Roasted Salsa Verde recipe.

Birria Taco’s

If you don’t know what Birria is, it’s simply slow roasted stewed meat in a marinade sauce that cooks and renders down with the meat and literally becomes a stew. Though Birria was originally made with Lamb or Mutton, it has recently become a Mexican staple using Beef or Pork to make taco’s. These tacos are served with the leftover meat juice, or Au Jus, that can be used to dip the tacos, much like a French Dip Sandwich(French Dip Tacos). I use my Beef and Pork barbacoa recipes to achieve the flavor, tenderness and juice needed to produce good Birria Tacos and I believe you can even use my Shredded Chicken Tacos recipe as well.

3 par-cooked yellow corn tortilla’s on a paper towel plate.

Taco Tortillas

It’s important to use the right tortillas when you’re making anything Mexican. Some recipes taste better with corn tortillas and others with flour but there’s also the quality to consider. I know that we all have different tastes and preferences. In fact, I usually prefer white corn tortillas over the yellow but, in this case, it’s better to go with the yellow.

The corn tortillas should also be partially cooked in a small amount of lard or olive oil on both sides. If you don’t do this, the tortilla’s will stick to the pan when you’re making Red Birria Taco’s.

A few tbsp of Red Chili Enchilada Sauce pored on the center of a dinner plate.

Different Birria Taco’s

There are a few different ways to make Birria Tacos and it goes as follows; Regular Birria taco’s, Quesa Birria taco’s, Red Birria taco’s and Red Quesa Birria taco’s. The Regular Birria taco is just a straight grilled taco with meat, served with dipping sauce. The Quesa Birria taco’s are filled with cheese and meat, like a quesadilla, served with dipping sauce. The Red Birria taco’s are dipped in the meat sauce or Chili Sauce, then grilled with the meat and, if you want cheese too, it becomes a Red Quesa Birria Taco.

Three Birria Taco’s on a white, narrow, rectangular plate with Birria dipping sauce in a ramekin.
Birria Taco Ingredients:

I have no idea how many tacos you want to make but I can tell you that a 8 lbs roast will give you approximately 35 to 40 tacos. You’re also going to need enough tortillas based around that number, so consider that when you’re purchasing the meat. You’ll also need to decide if you want to make Beef, Pork or Chicken Birria Taco’s. The 4 recipes I can offer you are listed below.

Beef Barbacoa
Pork Barbacoa
Shredded Chicken Taco’s
Red Enchilada Sauce

How to make Birria Taco’s video tutorial by PoorMansGourmet.

Every one of these recipes is as good as it comes. Yes, I am a Gringo but my family originates from Casa Grande Arizona and it’s where we berried my grandparents. I was raised on Mexican food, my friends are Mexican, I’ve worked with Mexicans my whole life and I know how to make great Mexican food. The only people that have ever complained about my Mexican recipes are Caucasian trolls that have maybe watched one video recipe of mine and didn’t even have the balls to try it.

My Mexican Subscribers very often comment with approval. The only time I ever receive criticism from them is if I’ve dulled down the spice or used a milder pepper but, it’s just because I’ve got small kids that have to eat everything I film and post. My wife and I like our food spicy as hell and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize any ingredient can be substituted for individual specific tastes.