Steve’s Chili Colorado con Carne

When I was living in Tucson, it was pretty common to find Chili con Carne on the menus in the Mexican restaraunts. Today, I’d have to classify that Tucson style I remember as “El Paso style”. Out here in Austin, the Tex-Mex is just a little different and there isn’t as much chili in it. I still yearn for the former so I looked into what it takes to make it for myself. Possibly, I might also share some with my family and friends.

You have to start with chilies of course. While you can get the dried chili pods in the produce section at H-E-B, I happened to remember being able to pick up chili pods in half pound bags at the Tucson grocery stores. Here’s what I used to see there:

Barker’s New Mexico Chiles

I have also found them at tourist stops along I-10 in New Mexico. It’s now possible to order these on line. Now I have my own El Paso connection: Joey’s mom! She graciously brought me about three year’s worth on top of his last order from home.

OK, so here’s the recipe I use:

Steve's Chili Colorado con Carne

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Red Chili and Meat

Chili Sauce - Part 1

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 6 large cloves fresh garlic
  • 8 dried chili pepper pods (Barker’s Medium Hot/Mild are good)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano

Quarter the onion and peel the garlic. Roast both on a sheet of aluminum foil in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes.

Remove stems and seeds from chili pods, and place them in a 3 quart stockpot. Add 4 cups water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Turn off heat, cover, and let chili peppers soften for about 20 minutes.

Set about 2 cups of the watery chili liquid aside and place the remaining liquid and chili peppers in a blender. Add onion, garlic, cumin, and oregano. Puree the mixture.

Over a large bowl (8c Pyrex mixing bowl) pour the chili sauce mixture into a strainer. Scrape a rubber spatula on the inside to keep the strained liquid flowing out. Strain as much liquid as possible.

Save/freeze the remaining solids in a zippered sandwich a baggie for Taco Tuesday or maybe some home made Chili-O.


  • 3 pounds chuck beef or pork loin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Trim the meat and cube it. Season the meat cubes in a gallon Ziploc bag with flour and salt. Brown the meat in the oil on high (in 2 batches) using an open pressure cooker. Return all the cooked meat to the cooker.

Chili Sauce - Part 2

  • 4 teaspoons beef “Better than Bullion”
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper

Dissolve the beef bouillon in the 2 cups of watery liquid. Add that, the bay leaves, and the strained chili liquid to the cooker. Stir.

Put the pressure cooker lid on, set up for heat and high pressure cook for 45 minutes.

Simmer to reduce if desired. Add a tablespoon of flour mixed in cold water if running short on simmering time.

Salt and season to your taste. Maybe another ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp cayenne pepper?

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