Everyday Paleo Chili Colorado

Chili Colorado

As promised, here is my recipe for Chili Colorado.  I would suggest this recipe as a great weekend project as it was a bit more time consuming then my usual recipes.  I like quick and easy meals but a dish like this warrants a little bit of extra love and care.  I suggest doubling this recipe if you want a lot of leftovers, especially if you have a larger family. We demolished this Chili Colorado on the night we made it and there was only enough leftovers for one person the next day.  John snuck the rest out of the house before I could tackle him and keep it for myself. 

Everyday Paleo Chili Colorado

4 cups water

7 dried New Mexico chilies (I use El Guapo brand for all the dried chilies, found at most major grocery stores)

3 dried California chilies

3 dried Chile de Arbol

1 yellow onion, diced

5 garlic cloves, minced or 2 teaspoons crushed garlic

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2.5 lbs beef stew meat

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 cups beef broth

2 – 6oz cans of tomato paste

Black pepper and sea salt to taste

Rinse the dried chilies and place them in a pot with the 4 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, turn the heat off and let the chilies soak in the water for 30 minutes.  While the chilies are soaking, dice your onion and garlic.  Heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the onions.  Cook the onions until they start to brown.  Add the garlic and the beef to the onions and brown the beef for 7-10 minutes.  Add the beef broth, tomato paste, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper to the beef.  Bring to a boil, turn down to medium low or low and let simmer. While the beef is simmering, it’s time to prepare the peppers.  Remove the stems from the peppers and place the peppers in a food processor with half of the liquid that the peppers were boiling in. Pulse the peppers until smooth.  Using a sieve, pour the ground peppers through the sieve and into the pot with the beef.  Use a spoon to help the contents through the sieve, leaving behind the seeds and any of bits of pepper skin.  Pour the remaining cooking liquid through the sieve as well into the pot.  Bring to a boil, turn back down to low and let the Colorado simmer for 2 hours or until your meat is tender. Serve with avocado and cilantro. Serves 6.


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  1. Stacie says

    This looks great! How spicy is it? I’m kind of a wimp with spicy food… Ha. Looking forward to your book!

    • Sarah says

      Well, it had a bit of a kick to it but it was not over the top at all. It’s more rich then super spicy. : )

  2. Nicole says

    Love this!!! Can’t wait to try it! I made your Albondigas which was awesome and I also made the Pancit the other day, I made the Chicken Mole which I loved!! love love love!

    • Sarah says

      Thanks Nicole, so glad you are enjoying my recipes! I wish I had made more of this one, we ate it too fast!!!

  3. Tanya says

    I can’t wait to make this. I love how authentic this recipe is, and that you are using whole chilis. For a minute I got worried because I don’t have a food processor, and my blender broke, but I have an immersion blender that should do it. Where do you get your grass-fed beef?

    • Sarah says

      Your immersion blender should totally work! We get our grass fed beef from various places, usually local and this time we bought from a local farmer and split the share of meat with a few of our friends. Check out http://www.eatwild.com for local grass fed sources.

  4. Frank says

    Looks very good…will have to make this VERY soon! Also, as Tanya asked…where do you get your beef? I would love to find $.01/lb beef! 1.35lbs for $.01…amazing price! :-)

    • Sarah says

      LOL!! I wish it was only .01/lb! We paid $3.33 a pound this time which is still a great deal. : ) It was an awesome early birthday present!

  5. Natalie says

    Mmmmm…looks good. I shouldn’t come here when I’m starving, lol. I can’t wait until I receive your book!!!

  6. Nate says

    hi sarah, this looks awesome–i’ll definitely have to give it a try soon. just wanted to let you know that i am grateful for all of your great recipes and tips. I cook one of your recipes at least twice a week and am always impressed. rock on!

  7. Osborne says

    Made a giant batch today. Threw in all kinds of random meat from the freezer. Pork shoulder, beef rump roast, ground beef, ground pork. Divided it up into a few crockpots and let it go for six hours. It was AWESOME.

  8. Frank says

    I am just now getting to make this recipe. Anyway, when I simmer, should I have the pot covered or open? I’m kinda new to this whole cooking thing :-)

    • Sarah says

      Leave the lid off while you simmer, that way the sauce will reduce down and thicken while it cooks. Good luck and I hope I’m not too late with my reply!!

      • Frank says

        Thanks, but yeah, I was done cooking it by the time you posted. I did take the lid off though. Probably only had it on for about 10 min. or so. My wife said I should put the lid on, but I thought it should be off to reduce down. My sauce was still a little liquidy, but still yummy. I didn’t have grass fed beef (that is the main aspect lacking from me being strict paleo…it’s hard when my wife still wastes money on all the junk/processed foods for her and the kids) and I noticed that after I “browned” the beef, it was already quite liquidy. It seemed more like the beef boiled than it browned. Does non-organic/non-grass fed beef tend to cook more liquid out of it?
        Thank You, and I look forward to receiving your book (already pre-ordered).

        • Sarah says

          Yes, non grass fed beef will tend a bit more watery. Thank you so much for pre-ordering my book, I hope you enjoy it!!!

  9. PaulL says

    Okay, well, due to a variety of factors, I’ve completely mangled this recipe, and am therefore offering up the recipe I actually made, which I call Chili New England, because, well, evidently we can’t get dried chilies around here:

    Skip anything to do with the dried chilies above
    Sautee the onions in coconut oil as directed
    Add the beef, sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, and black pepper to taste
    While that’s simmering for 7-10 minutes:
    – Mix up 3 cups of beef broth, Cumin, Tomato paste, Oregano
    – Bring to a boil, turn down heat to a simmer
    – Add 4 cups of salsa
    – Bring to a boil, turn down heat to a simmer
    – let simmer for an 1.5-2 hours, or the amount of time it takes you to:
    – get the kids ready for soccer practice +
    – the time it takes to get there and back +
    – the length of the practice itself

    Lastly, hungrily wolf down the second you get in the door from said soccer practice :)

    It was delicious, simple, and fairly quick! Though, I’d love to try this with the actual peppers sometime. Gotta find a source here in the North East!

  10. Kristi says

    Hey Sarah,
    Congrats on the book, I can’t wait for mine to get here! What are some other kinds of peppers you can use? My grocery store had a bunch of types but none were the California or New Mexico ones. They do have the Chile De Arbol so I got those. Any suggestions for substitutions?

  11. says

    We made this the other night – it was dee-lish! I was worried it might be too spicy for me, but not at all. It was just right.

    Also just got my email from Amazon that I should be receiving your book on Monday, can’t wait!

  12. Susan says

    We’ve made this twice and the flavors are delicious. Ours keeps coming out very liquidy/soupy. The first time my husband left the lid on but the second time it was off. Any ideas?

    • Sarah says

      You could always try using less of the beef broth and make sure you are using tomato paste and not tomato sauce! : ) Hope that helps!

  13. DJ says

    Made this last night with some elk and venison I had in the freezer. I didn’t have all the peppers listed in the recipe so I subbed for some dried chiles that I had. Came out great! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll be making this one again…….and again.

  14. Dave says

    Hey, I tried this over the weekend and it was truly amazing. We dont quite have all those fancy chillis in our supermarkets over here in Australia, but I made do.

    The only thing is that I got only about 3 meals out of this. not sure how you stretched it out to serve 6. anyway its definately a recepie i’ll be making agian. Cheers for this

  15. dakota,bobby@gmail,com says

    It sounds real good but they do sell a can you can just pour on the meat and let it boil away all day in a crock pot or stock pot and the meat comes out soft like its made nyour way. since i brcame disabled ill try your way next time, thamk you, Bob Cameron

  16. Licia says

    Quick version, yet still tasty. Traditionally, in New Mexico, it is marinated for at least 24 hrs, and the NM red chile pods actually come in mild, hot, and xtra hot. It is then cooked very slow at a low temperature for 6-8hrs.
    It’s quite delicious.

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