Chile Colorado Fandango

New Mexico Chiles are the dried form of the Red Anaheim Pepper. This chile has a thin flesh with an earthy chile flavor and undertones of wild cherries. This chile ranges from 2 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. The New Mexico Chile may be referred to as the California Chile or Chile Colorado. New Mexico Chiles are commonly used in Red Mexican or Southwestern sauces and is grown in Mexico. This mildly hot chile. Scoville heat units 8,000 – 12,000.

Suggested Use:
New Mexico Chiles are mildly hot and very popular in Southwest cooking. Great in sauces, salsa, rice dishes, stews and soups. Add directly to the cooking liquid along with other spices. Use in stir fry, or add to chicken or fish marinades.

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12 dried New Mexico or California chilies (about 4 oz. total)
1 pound onions, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbsp. salad oil
2-1/2 to 3 pounds beef bottom round, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1
1-1/2 to 2 pounds boned pork shoulder or butt, rinsed, dried, and cut into 1
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Mexican oregano
About 1 tsp. salt
About 1/2 tsp. pepper
3 cups dark beer
warm corn tortillas


1. Discard the chile stems and seeds. Rinse the chiles and put in a bowl. Add 2-1/2 cups of boiling water and let stand, mixing occasionally, until the chiles are limp, about 8-10 minutes. Drain the chiles, reserving 3/4 cup of the soaking liquid and discard the remainder.

2. In a blender or food processor, whirl the chiles, reserved soaking liquid, onions and garlic until it is smoothly puréed.

3. Pour the oil into a 5-6 quart pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the beef and pork, 1 layer at a time; stirring often until browned on all sides, about 5-7 minutes per batch. As the meat is browned, transfer the pieces with a slotted spoon to a bowl, and discard any fat in pan.

4. Return the meat and accumulated juices to the pan and add the chile mixture, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and beer. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender when pierced, 3-3 1/2 hours. If the sauce is thinner than you like, uncover and simmer until it reduces to the desired consistency, 20-30 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Use this mixture to make Fandango tacos. Spoon a little of the mixture into a warm corn tortilla and garnish the chile colorado tacos with minced cilantro, chopped onions, Mexican crema and pico de gallo.

Recipe from Sunset Magazine, March 2000.