The beef is succulent, tender, and loaded with flavor. The chile colorado is amazingly easy to make, and is also perfect for making ahead. It can be served with beans, rice, and tortillas, or stuffed into bolillo rolls or French rolls for pretty amazing Mexican sandwiches.
The secret to the authentic flavor of this beef is to use dried whole chiles rather than chile powder. Try to find dried chiles that are soft and pliable rather than dry and papery. A good place to find them is at a Mexican market, where they are more likely to be fresh.
You can find bolillo rolls at Mexican grocery stores, or, if you want to get even more geeky, you can make your own like I did. You can wrap them individually and freeze them for about a month until you're ready to make the tortas (sandwiches). Just toast the rolls to re-crisp them. Here's my bolillo roll recipe.
I found this recipe on the blog La Cocina de Leslie, my Secret Recipe Club assignment for this month. Leslie is a mom of four who grew up in southern California and has been living the last 14 years in a small town in Mexico. Her story about how she ended up choosing to live in Mexico is worth a read.
Leslie does not know this but, as a lover of Mexican food, I have been stalking her blog even before we ended up in Secret Recipe Club together. Some of the amazing dishes I have pinned to try later are these Tacos de Chorizo, these Tinga Tostadas, and these Mexican Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs.
One of my favorite series on her blog was She Made/Ella Hace, which she used to do with Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. This recipe is from that series. I highly recommend spending some time browsing her blog, and I especially recommend this chile colorado. It's easy and delicious.
After the recipe, be sure to check out the rest of the Secret Recipe Club links.
Tortas de Chile Colorado de Res (Chile Colorado Beef Sandwiches)Serves 6
For the chile colorado:
3 dried ancho chiles
2 dried guajillo chiles
2 cups water
2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds beef steak, thinly sliced (I used tri-tip)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
For the sandwiches
Shredded lettuce (I used baby Spinach instead)
Avocado, thinly sliced (I substituted guacamole)
Red onion, thinly sliced
- Place the chiles in a medium saucepan and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, until the chiles are softened.
- When they are cool enough to handle, remove the chiles from the water, cut off the stems, split them open, and scrape out the seeds. Roughly cut the chiles into 2 inch pieces and place them into a blender. Add the cooking liquid to the blender, and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Heat the lard/oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and saute for about a minutes. Add the beef, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring ocassionally, until the meat is no longer pink.
- Pour the chile puree over the meat, add the cumin and oregano, and stir. Add more salt to taste if necessary.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, and then lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 35 to 40 minutes, until the liquid is fairly thick, and the meat is tender.
- Split and toast the bolillos.
- Spread the crema on one or both of the slices of bread, and then layer the meat, lettuce, avocado, onion, and cilantro. Serve warm.