Starting in the late 1970s, and for about twenty years, my grandparents lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the state question (yes, that’s a thing) is “Red or green?” Meaning, which color of chile do you prefer? A work trip in 2000 was the last time I visited the Land of Enchantment, and I vividly recall chowing down on a burrito smothered in red chile sauce. It was almost life-changing. Ever since then, I’ve sought out both kinds of chile sauces when eating out. Chile colorado has been a favorite of mine at many restaurants—that is, until I figured out how to make a decent sauce at home. And to clear up a misconception I had: The word “colorado” in this instance has nothing to do with the evergreen state—colorado in Spanish basically means red (as in blushing). Serve over cauliflower rice or a bed of sautéed vegetables, like peppers or cabbage.
SERVES 6 TO 8 / PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES / TOTAL TIME: 4 TO 8 HOURS IN A SLOW COOKER, 45 MINUTES IN A PRESSURE COOKER
FOR THE SAUCE:
3 dried New Mexico chiles
3 dried ancho chiles
1 dried chipotle chile
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
3 cups hot water
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
3 pounds beef chuck (stew meat works fine) or pork stew meat, cut into bite-size pieces
4 cups chicken or beef stock
To make the sauce:
1. Remove the stems and seeds of the chiles and place them in a large bowl. Add the garlic and onion and cover with the hot water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid.
2. Place the chiles along with the garlic and onion in a food processor or blender. Add the oregano, cumin, and coriander and blend until smooth, adding the reserved soaking liquid as needed to achieve a smooth consistency. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve if you’d like. The sauce can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated.
Slow cooker method:
1. Heat the oil over medium-high. Working in batches, brown the meat. Do not overcrowd the pan.
2. Add the browned meat to a slow cooker, and stir in the chile sauce and stock. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Pressure cooker method:
1. Heat a pressure cooker for sautéing (many electric pressure cookers have a sauté feature). Add the oil to the pan and when hot, work in batches to brown the meat, removing to a plate after each batch is done.
2. Return all the meat to the pressure cooker, add the chile sauce and stock. Seal at high pressure for 25 mins.
1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch. Working in batches, brown the beef. Return the beef to the pan, add the chile sauce and stock, and bring to a simmer.
2. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat until the beef is fork-tender, about 1 hour.