Chili Colorado

28 September 2018

Chili Colorado gets its name because it’s chili that is “colored red.” While my boyfriend was visiting, he told me that he had tried this amazing recipe recently, and that it was the real deal — an authentic Mexican recipe that was probably passed down through the ages.

That night, we went to the a local Mexican food grocery store and picked up all the necessary ingredients, including ancho, pasilla, and guajillo chili peppers.

We soaked them, blended them, and put them in my French oven with some chicken stock and pork shoulder. It thickened into this deep, smokey sauce. We crisped some tortillas, cracked open a cold beer, and tucked in to our comfort food.


Chili Colorado

Course Soup


  • 5 anchos chiles
  • 2 pasillas chiles
  • 2 guajillos chiles
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 lbs boneless pork shoulder
  • Salt and pepper to season pork shoulder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Flour tortillas


  • To make the chile purée: Chiles should be soft and pliable, not brittle. Remove the stems and seeds. Cover with 3 cups of boiling chicken stock and steam covered for 30 minutes until they are plump and tender. Blend the chiles with the soaking liquid into a purée, until very smooth.
  • To cook the meat: Cut 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder into ½ inch pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Brown in a large pot over medium-high heat with vegetable oil. Add garlic, bay leaves, cumin, sage, and oregano to the pot. Stir for 1 minute, or until very fragrant. Add 5 cups chicken stock and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
  • Combine: Stir in the chile purée. Simmer for 45 minutes until the meat is very tender and the sauce is thick and mahogany-red. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with Mexican rice, beans a la charra, and flour tortillas.

Recipe is Rick Martinez’s mother’s recipe, “Chili Colorado is the Greatest Recipe of All Time,” on Bon Appétit

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Hey, I'm Sarah

Welcome to my blog, The French Press! Here you will find my favorite recipes, adventures, and other musings. Take a look around — I'm so glad you're here!