Chile Colorado translates to reddened chile and that is exactly what you think of when you hear this dish. A beautiful red chile sauce is made to accompany tender chunks of pork and left to simmer for the deepest, most delicious flavor infusion. The guajillo peppers used in this sauce create that beautiful red color while the ancho peppers help with the depth of flavor. Don’t be intimidated by the use of dried peppers, they truly are easy to work with and you can use them in so many recipes!
Growing up my abuelita Socorro always made carne con chile, or meat with chile, and this is what it always turned out to be. A delcious stew-like meal made with tender pieces of pork cooked in a flavorful red chile sauce. Sunday’s at grandma consisted of chile colorado, (or carne con chile), a huge pan of Mexican rice, and homemade tortillas. I remember being a child, (a brat really haha), and complaining about always having this meal at abuelita’s on Sundays. Wow, I would have just smacked my little child self! This is easily one of my favorite meals and will forever bring back the best memories of Sundays at my abuelita’s.
The base of this sauce starts with dried chile peppers. I know these can be intimidating to work with but I promise, they’re not! Once you start using them you will realize there really isn’t much to them at all. It might be harder to find these locally but you’d be surprised where you may be able to find them. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where there is a Mexican market near you, definitely go there first! I know a lot of Walmart stores carry some dried peppers as well as other grocery stores. I recommend you look in their produce section or Mexican specialties section. If you can’t find any anywhere, look online. I have seen them on amazon here, at Walmart online, and this great online Mexican grocery store here.
The most important thing to know about working with dried chile peppers is that they need to be rehydrated to yield a smooth sauce. To do this all you have to do is soak the peppers in hot boiling water for few minutes or put the peppers to boil in a saucepan with water. This ensure the peppers are nice and soft to blend into a sauce. You will use same water you soaked or boiled the peppers in for your sauce. It truly is that simple and I hope if dried peppers intimidate you , you try this out!
- 10 guajillo peppers seeds and veins/ribs removed
- 2 ancho peppers seeds and veins/ribs removed
- ½ onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- 3 lb pork butt or shoulder cubed; *see notes
- 1 tbsp oil
- ½ onion sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup chicken or beef broth
- 1 bay leaf
- Place everything except salt and cumin in a saucepan and bring to boil.
- Add everything, including salt and cumin, in a blender and blend until smooth.
- In a Dutch oven over medium high heat add oil and pork.
- Cook until pork is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
- Add onions and salt and cook until liquid has reduced and meat starts to brown.
- Once meat is browned, add sauce, broth, and bay leaf. Cover and cook until it starts to boil. Reduce heat and cook for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and leave to simmer for additional 15 minutes until the sauce had reduced and thickened a little.