Servings: 8 Prep: 30 min Cook: 8 hrs Total: 8 hrs 30 min
Chile Colorado (red chile) is something that actually stems from the Old West, back when “Cookies” made chow from the chuck wagon for the cowboys. It’s a deep red chili that cattlemen ate while driving herds around the southern US and northern parts of Mexico. Dishes existed similar to the modern Chile Colorado in this area, before it was U.S. territory. The Europeans later brought spices with them, which were infused into the indigenous foods, resulting in the chuck wagon version, as well as today’s slow cooker varieties.
It’s firmly Tex-Mex, but has roots in Spain, Mexico and India, believe it or not!
Thickness Note: Even without the addition of extra moisture, this was still a bit soupy. In the future, I would add about 1/4 cup of peanut flour to the mix. This will help thicken it up with flavors that would complement such a dish. Alternately, you can remove the lid from the slow cooker for the final hour and let some of the water evaporate. This will thicken the sauce. Finally, you could strain the meat through a colander, then reduce the sauce in a separate pot, later adding it back to the meat. I left it “as is” in an effort to simplify the recipe. “As is” was quite tasty, but I was left feeling like I’d like a thicker sauce.
Slow Cooker Chile ColoradoPrint Rate
- 6 each assorted dried chilies (guajillo ancho, new mexico, etc.)
- 3 lb beef chuck trimmed and cut into cubes
- 2 tsp cumin seed ground
- 1 tbsp light oil (for sautéing ... such as coconut olive or ghee)
- 4 each garlic cloves
- 1 small onion cut into large chunks
- 1 small red bell pepper seeded and cut into large chunks
- 1 each poblano chillies seeds removed and cut into large chunks
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano chopped
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- Split the chilies by either tearing the tops off, or using kitchen scissors to cut them open. Remove the seeds from the peppers and discard (feel free to leave a few, if you like a spicy chili).
- You can do this in a hot pan, but I usually toast the chilies directly on a hot burner element, or over a hot burner flame. Over a medium-low temperature, toast the surface of the chilies by placing them in the flame, or directly on the burner surface. This will cause a quick blistering. Do not burn the chilies. Simply toast the surface for about 15 seconds, in a few spots around the chilies. This makes for a richer and more developed flavor.
- Fill a bowl or measuring cup with about 4 cups of hot tap water. Place your toasted chilies in the hot tap water, so they may soften.
- Pre-heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.
- Turn your slow cooker to a low-temperature.
- Season your beef with salt, pepper and cumin.
- Add a little oil to the pan, and evenly distribute a handful of beef cubes. You want to sear the beef, to add a nice color, as well as lightly toasting the cumin. If you add too much beef, it will crowd the pan and your beef will not sear. When the beef has begun to color, toss the beef around in the pan, until all pieces of beef are very nicely caramelized and seared. Add the beef to the slower cooker. If you have more beef remaining, repeat this step until all the beef cubes are nicely caramelized and in the slow cooker.
- Add your onions, garlic, fresh peppers and oregano to a blender, with a little salt and pepper.
- Remove your chilies from the hot water and also add them to the blender. Save the water.
- Puree the onion-chilies mixture. If you need to add any moisture to get the blender going, add small amounts of the water from the chilies, just to get the blender moving. You won't need much! Discard whatever you don't use.
- Once the vegetables have been pureed, add the sauce to the slow cooker.
- Stir the beef into the sauce.
- Add the lid to the slow cooker and allow to cook on low for 8 hours.
- Serve with favorite sides and grilled low carb tortillas!
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