Every time I visit a Mexican restaurant, I scan the menu for Chile Colorado (commonly miscalled Chili Colorado). It’s my absolute favorite. So, it’s about time I started making it at home, especially since I now have an Instant Pot to get that beef nice and tender. The end result was better than I’ve had at any restaurant. Yay! 🙂
This version of Instant Pot Chile Colorado is loosely based on one from Kathy at Lemon Blossoms, and it’s absolutely scrumptious. I’ve modified it a bit to suit my tastes and to make it in the Instant Pot. If you’d like to try her original version with directions for oven or slow cooker, check here.
I tested this recipe in the Instant Pot DUO Plus 60, 6 Quart 9-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker. It works just as well in the 8 Quart size.
This recipe makes an abundance of red chile sauce. Use any extra sauce to make cheese enchiladas or chiles rellenos. Extra sauce may also be frozen. It’s much better than canned enchilada sauce. Chile Colorado is also a fantastic base for a hearty bean chili. Simply add canned beans after the meat is done and heat through. By the way, substituting less expensive pork for the beef also turns out fabulous!
Short on time? Cook up a pot of this a day or two in advance. It’s just as good reheated.
Read through the recipe and notes first (as you should always do) and have your ingredients prepped and ready to go. This is really easy to make.
Instant Pot Chile Colorado Recipe
For the Red Sauce:
12 dried ancho or guajillo chiles
4 dried chile de arbol chiles
3/4 cup strong chicken broth (see Notes)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, packed (about 12-15 sprigs)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (15 ounces) fire-roasted tomatoes
For the Beef:
4 to 5 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1-1/2-inch cubes (See Notes)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, pressed
12 sprigs of fresh cilantro, leaves only, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup strong chicken broth
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons (about) ground masa harina
Salt and pepper to taste
Shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, and chopped fresh cilantro for serving, optional
Red Chile Sauce:
Split the chiles and remove the seeds and stems. (If you are sensitive to chiles, wear gloves.) Microwave chiles on high for 15 seconds. Wait 10 seconds, then nuke again for another 15 seconds. (See Notes below.) Set aside.
Place 3/4 cup of chicken broth in a 4-cup glass measuring cup. Microwave the broth for 1 minute. Add the chiles, cilantro, and cumin. Cover the measuring cup with plastic wrap, vent a small spot, and microwave again for 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes. Use an immersion blender to process until smooth. (Alternatively, pour into a blender and puree until smooth.) Set aside.
(The Red Chile Sauce may be made up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Warm to room temperature before using. You may also freeze the sauce. Divide the end result in half and freeze in separate containers. You’ll need about 1-1/2 cups for this recipe.)
Yield: about 3 cups
For the Beef:
Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper. Set the Instant Pot to Saute mode. When hot, coat the bottom of the pot with vegetable oil. Brown the beef in batches and remove from the pot. Set aside. (See my Notes below about this step.)
Add the onions to the drippings and saute until limp, adding a tad more vegetable oil if necessary. Dump in the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Stir in minced cilantro, cumin, oregano, and unsweetened cocoa powder.
Return the meat and any accumulated juices to the onion mixture in the Instant Pot, along with 1 cup chicken broth and 1-1/2 cups (about) red chile sauce. Cover, set the vent to Sealing, and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Let pressure subside naturally for 10 minutes, then release pressure. Do not remove top until the pressure pin drops down and no more steam is escaping.
Mix the masa harina with 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beef. Add the masa mixture and the apple cider vinegar into the beef and stir occasionally for 5 minutes. (If the sauce is not thick enough for your tastes, add a bit more masa to thicken.) Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve with Spanish rice. Chile Colorado may also be used in burritos, or shred it for enchiladas. I also like to top the Chile Colorado with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and chopped cilantro to serve.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
• I find the canned/boxed pre-made chicken broths rather bland. So, I use bouillon granules mixed with water to control the strength.
• Yes, you can use stew beef, but why? It’s more expensive and is not entirely made of chuck. Chuck has the best flavor and is cheaper.
• Why microwave the chiles? This trick is recommended by Chef J. Kenji López-Alt of Serious Eats to enhance the flavor of the chiles.
• About the browning of the beef: Although the Instant Pot has the Saute function built it, it really doesn’t get hot enough to get that nice brown crusty sear of the meat. I prefer to brown the meat in a large, hard-anodized skillet. Deglaze the skillet with the chicken broth, then proceed to the Instant Pot. It’s faster, more efficient, and achieves the nice carmelization you want. Count on the Instant Pot to do a quick job of tenderizing and infusing flavor into the meat.
• Try substituting pork roast for the beef. So good!
BBQ Bacon Brisket in the Oven Recipe Photo ©2019 Peggy Filippone