Chili Colorado

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Nixta’s Chef Edgar Rico shares a pork version of the classic Mexican stew, enriched by a 3 chile purée.

By Edgar Rico
Jan 19, 2023
4 Hours
8 - 10 Servings

Looking for yet another comforting recipe that will put your new Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven to use? From Chef Edgar Rico of Austin’s Nixta Taqueria, this pork Chili Colorado (a Mexican stew named for its brick red hue, not the state) boasts 3 kinds of dried chiles that bring the heat and, after a long braise, a mellow sweetness. Most of the long cook time is decidedly hands off—simply let the chili simmer away as delicious smells fill your home. Chef Rico likes to top his with thinly sliced red onion and cilantro but feel free to garnish as you see fit.

Chili Colorado

Nixta’s Chef Edgar Rico shares a pork version of the classic Mexican stew, enriched by a 3 chile purée.

Edgar Rico

4 Hours
8 - 10 Servings
  • 5 dried ancho chiles
  • 2 dried guajillo chiles
  • 2 dried New Mexico or pasilla chiles
  • 8 cups room temperature chicken stock or broth
  • 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage leaves (or 1 teaspoon ground)
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Flaky sea salt
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and flour or corn tortillas, for serving

    Remove stems and seeds from dried chiles. Heat a Dutch Oven over medium-high and add chiles and toast, turning frequently, until fragrant and darkened, 1–1 ½ minutes.


    Pour chicken stock over chiles to halt toasting. Bring to a brief boil, then remove from heat. Cover Dutch Oven and let chiles soften for 30–60 minutes.


    Transfer rehydrated chiles to a blender and let cool slightly. Add 3 cups of the soaking liquid and blend until smooth. Transfer remaining soaking liquid to a bowl and set aside.


    Wipe out Dutch Oven and heat over medium-high with oil. Season pork generously with salt and pepper. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot, brown pork, 5–7 minutes per batch. Transfer to a Sheet Pan or Platter. (You're not trying to cook it through, just browning the exterior of the pork for good flavor.)


    Remove Dutch Oven from heat. Add garlic and sage and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cumin and oregano. Add about 1 cup reserved soaking liquid and return Dutch Oven to medium heat. Deglaze the bottom of the Dutch Oven, scraping with a Wooden Spoon to remove browned bits.


    Return pork to Dutch Oven. Add chile puree, bay leaves, and remaining soaking liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer covered until pork is very tender, 40–60 minutes. Check pork as it cooks and adjust heat to maintain a simmer, if needed. Alternatively, bake, covered, in a 225F oven for 6–8 hours.


    Remove lid and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes more, until the concoction is a beautiful, thick, smooth mahogany color. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.


    Serve topped with a sprinkle of flaky salt, sliced red onion, cilantro, lime wedges, and tortillas.

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