It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s warm or cold where you are at, this Chili Colorado with Potatoes will hit the spot! This is Tex Mex comfort food at one of it’s finest and it doesn’t take all day to make either.
While I’ve made this using both beef and pork, the pork version is still my go to favorite. What’s great about this recipe is it doesn’t have any tomatoes in it, which Dave is really not a fan of. It gets it’s deep, rich red color from the pureed red guajillo chiles.
I added the small white potatoes to make it my own, but feel free to omit if you want a traditional version.
Besides the wonderful flavors from the chiles, the kicker for me is the use of Mexican oregano. It’s a different flavor from the typical Mediterranean oregano you get in the spice aisle in your local market. It’s aroma is stronger and has notes of citrus and mild licorice and actually is a member of the lemon verbena family. The Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and is peppery in taste. For latin dishes it’s Mexican oregano for me and Greek and Italian dishes I use the Mediterranean.
The dried chiles I use for this dish start with the ancho, pasillas and guajillos. Sometimes the pasilla chile is labled as chile negro and is the dried form of the chilaca chili pepper. I learned that from the owner of my neighborhood Mexican Tiendita market. Another tip he passed on to me is when picking through the bin, make sure the dried chiles are still pliable and soft like a raisin. If the chiles are brittle and chip when you bend them, discard and get other ones. I’ve wasted an entire dish before when I used those due to lack of flavor.
After soaking them in hot chicken stock (or hot water) they get pureed with the stock, garlic, onion, jalapeño and Mexican oregano. This is the base sauce for this dish. I tend to save half the batch of this and make enchiladas with it as the filling the next day. Freeze it for a later meal.
Another chile I now use in this is the chimayo chile. I ordered it online and it comes in a powder. A reader named Don clued me in on, big thanks for that! It has a fantastic earthy, sweet flavor and is a staple in this now. I’ve updated the recipe to include this.
Serve this with warm, fresh tortillas that you char over an open flame for that extra bit of flavor. I either use the grill when it’s hot outside or simply over the open flame on the stove top burner.
This recipe first appeared on Kevin Is Cooking in Jan 2016 and has an updated recipe that includes the addition of chimayo chili powder and a video.
Chili Colorado with Potatoes
- 4 dried ancho chiles
- 2 dried pasillas
- 4 dried guajillo
- 6 cups chicken stock (separated)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 1 jalapeño stem removed
- 1 tbsp chimayo chili powder (See Note 1)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano (or regular, See Note 2))
- 1 tsp cayenne (optional for more heat)
- 2 lbs pork shoulder cubed
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cups small white potatoes quartered
- Remove the stems (and seeds if you want it milder in heat), from the anchos, pasillas, and guajillos. Cover chiles with 1 cup boiling water and let them steam for about 30 minutes until they are tender.
- Put the chiles, soaking liquid and 2 cups of the chicken stock, garlic, onion, jalapeño, chimayo chili powder, cumin and Mexican oregano (cayenne is optional for more heat) into a blender and purée until smooth. Set aside.
- Cut the pork shoulder into half inch cubes, season with the kosher salt and pepper, and brown the meat in a large, stock pot over medium heat with oil.
- Add 4 cups of chicken stock and simmer on low covered for one hour. Stir in the potatoes and chile purée. Simmer uncovered for another 45 minutes or until the meat is tender and the sauce is a thick, deep red color. Season with additional salt if needed. Serve with warm tortillas.
- This is a bright red, sweet and earthy flavored chile from New Mexico and worth trying to find or order online. If you want feel free to substitute your favorite chili powder. I have a Homemade Chili Powder if you would like to try.
- Mexican oregano is a relative of Lemon Verbena and is native to Mexico. Similar in that it’s pungent like Mediterranean oregano, Mexican oregano has notes of mild licorice and citrus. Mediterranean oregano is a member of the mint family and most often is used in Greek and Italian recipes. Mediterranean oregano is the one most found in spice racks and supermarkets.