Friday, April 27, 2012

Chili Colorado

This is a dish we discovered recently. I know, I know, I was raised in Texas. How could I not know about Chili Colorado??

The question the rest of you could be asking - Wow! Does Colorado really have a state chili?

Well, um..... *munch munch munch*

Who cares?? This stuff is delicious. It's like the best Latin style beef stew that you've ever eaten. With refried beans and a tortilla. (You can't leave these out. Pop open a can of beans and warm up those tortillas.)

You start off with the veggie chopping. Tomatoes, onions, and tomatillos. What's that last one, you ask?

These guys. Peel off the papery shell, rinse them off, and chop them up. Adds a good amount of acid and tang.

Now the roasting. In a very hot oven. They should get pretty browned.

And since you've already got the oven hot, toss the dried chiles on a pan and put them in. It gets the oils all happy.

Next, the chiles go in a bowl of chicken stock. You're basically making chili tea... And then you blend the sucker to smithereens.

Make sure you strain the blended mixture, you'll have lots of chili skin bits.

Once you've got your beautiful puree, toss it into a blender with the roasted veggies. Blitz until smooth.

Now, dry roast the spices in a pan on the stove.

Even if they are ground up, they'll still toast up nicely. And smell divine.

Pour the toasted spices into a small bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Coat the meat well with the oil and spices. Let it marinate for awhile.

Then you have to brown it off. Get the cubes nice and golden. 

Then the cubes go in a 9x13. With all the rest of the marinade.

Now, cover with the chili and veggie mixture.

Cover the whole pan in aluminum foil and slide it in the oven for 2 hours or so. 

Serve with refried beans and tortillas. Or cilantro lime rice.  Or cardboard, really. This stuff is delicious!

And having one of these around is typically a good idea too...

Chili Colorado
Makes 6-8 servings
Adapted from Aaron Sanchez

4 tomatoes
4 tomatillos
2 white onions
3 garlic cloves
olive oil
6-8 gaujillo chiles, dried
4-5 pasilla chiles, dried
3 c. chicken stock
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat, in chunks
1 tbsp dried ground mustard
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp mexican oregano
1/4 c. vegetable oil
salt and pepper
cilantro and queso fresco (topping)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Quarter the tomatoes and tomatillos. Chunk the onion up in large pieces. Place the vegetables on a lined baking sheet and drizzle in olive oil. Roast for 30-45 minutes, until slightly blackened. Allow to cool on the sheet.

Cut open the dried chiles. Remove the stems and seeds. Once the veggies are out of the oven, put the chiles on a different baking sheet and dry roast them in the oven for 1 minute. Literally one minute.

Remove the chiles from the oven and place in 3 c. of chicken stock. Allow chiles to steep for 30 minutes.
Once the time is up, blend the chiles with an immersion blender or regular blender. Strain the liquid back into the blender. Add half the roasted veggies. Blitz till smooth. Add the other half and blitz till smooth. (If you have a small blender, you may need to do this in 2 batches).

In a small saucepan, dry roast the mustard, cumin, coriander, and oregano for 3 minutes, until fragrant. Mix spices into a small bowl with oil, salt and pepper. Coat the beef cubes in the oil mixture. Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sear beef off in the sauce pan, browning each side. Place finished beef in a glass 9 x 13 pan. Pour the chili and vegetable sauce over the beef. Cover in aluminum foil and roast for 2 hours, until beef is tender.

Spoon onto a plate and top with crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro. Serve with tortillas and refried beans.

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