Christina Holmes
Active Time
25 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours
Serves 8 (serving size: 1 cup)

Bitterness rating: 8/10. Ancho and pasilla chiles make Chile Colorado robust and spicy with a decidedly—and deliciously bitter flavor. We soften the effect slightly with the addition of sweet butternut squash, but the traditional taste still dominates. If you’d like to tame the bitterness further, you could add a dollop of sour cream.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add oil to pan. Add half of beef; cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer browned beef to a plate. Repeat procedure with remaining beef.

Step 2

Add garlic to drippings in pan; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add 3 cups stock, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits. Return beef to pan; stir in cumin, oregano, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over medium. Partially cover; simmer 1 hour.

Step 3

While beef cooks, bring remaining 3 cups stock to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high. Working with 1 chile at a time, hold over a blender; gently pull stem to remove, letting seeds fall into blender. Discard stems; place chiles in blender. Pour boiling stock over chiles. Cover with blender lid; let stand 30 minutes. Process until smooth, about 1 minute. Set aside until beef has finished simmering.

Step 4

Add chile mixture, squash, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt to beef in Dutch oven. Simmer over medium, partially covered, until liquid is thickened and beef is very tender, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.

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