Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Chile Colorado

Mexican food for me is comfort food. I spent a number of my younger years living in Southeast Asia and as much as I love the food from the region, there were times I sorely missed Mexican food. I love a good plate of rice and beans, and I've been making my own flour tortillas since eighth grade. One semester in college I practically lived on a diet of homemade burritos, keeping my food budget to a minimum so I could buy more wine.

It's interesting that so many ingredients indigenous to Mexico found their way into Asian cuisines, most importantly the chili pepper. It's hard to imagine Indian, Thai, or Indonesian food absent the chili, yet that was the case until the sixteenth century when the Spanish or Portuguese (there appear to be arguments for each) introduced chilies to Asia. Mexican cooking incorporates a great variety of chilies, both fresh and dried, into its dishes.

This version of chile colorado is probably a greatly bastardized version of the original. It has been a go to dish in my family for more than thirty years. I believe the original recipe comes from Sunset's Mexican Cooking, a 100-page or so 8 1/2-inch by 11-inch paperback for which my mother probably paid about $4.95. I can't recall any other recipes from the book, but this one was a winner. By the way, if you're looking for heat, this ain't the dish. You could add cayenne, of course, or some other chili to raise the heat quotient, but try it as it is first.


3 lbs lean boneless pork butt
2 TBS salad oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS ancho chili powder
2 TBS chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp oregano leaves, crumbled
1 3/4 cups water
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 TBS canned tomato paste
1/2 cup whipping cream
Roasted pumpkin seeds warm
soft tortillas or hot cooked rice

Garnishes: 1 large avocado,peeled, pitted, and sliced; 1 large tomato, cut in wedges; sour cream sprinkled with chili powder; 2 limes, cut in wedges.


Trim meat and cut into one inch cubes. Heat oil in frying pan over medium-high heat; add meat a few pieces at a time and cook until lightly brown. Push to side; add onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, and cumin; cook until onion is limp.
Stir in water, sugar, tomato paste and salt. Sim- mer, covered about one hour. Skim off fat and discard. Add cream, and cook, stirring until mixture boils.
Turn into a serving dish and garnish with pump- kin seeds. To serve, fill warm tortillas with meat and garnish with avocado, tomato, and sour cream.

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1 comment:

  1. This really sounds wonderful! It's such a beautiful color. I'm going to put this on my menu soon!


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