Chile Colorado

We've been playing a bit with the cooking in the Ranchos of Alta California. We were excited to try this Chile Colorado, but, honestly, we started too late... and we didn't want to eat at 9 p.m. So... we adjusted the recipe for use with a pressure cooker.

We used our stovetop pressure cooker because the amount of broth seemed pretty high. I think it would've worked in the electric pressure cooker, though. As usual, you'd have to adjust the cooking time for the electric pressure cooker.

The recipe works quite nicely in the pressure cooker. The meat is succulent and flavorful.

Chile Colorado

Adapted from California Rancho Cooking by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan.
Serves 6–8 with other dishes

Red Chile Sauce

18 dried chiles (California and/or New Mexico)
2 ancho chiles
3 cloves garlic
2 1/2 cups water

Rinse the chiles under cold water. Cut off the stems, cut in half. Shake out the seeds onto a paper towel. Place the chiles and garlic in the top half of a steamer over simmering water. Steam for 25 minutes.

Remove the chiles and garlic from heat. In three batches, place in a blender with 1/2 cup water and purée until smooth. Pour the puree into a wire strainer over a bowl. Push all the chile purée through the strainer. Scrape the strained purée off the bottom of the strainer into the bowl. Run the blender with a little bit of water to clean the blades and pour that through the strainer as well to make sure you get all the awesome chile. You should have about 3 1/2 cups of purée.

3 tbsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
Pinch of sugar (optional)
1/2 to 1 c. water (if you need it)

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the flour, toasting lightly until nut brown. Whisk in the chile purée. Add the oregano, vinegar, and salt. Simmer for 20 minutes. Taste the sauce—add a pinch of sugar if the flavor seems too sharp. If the sauce seems too thick, add water or broth and simmer again for 5 minutes. Use immediately or store: 5 days in the refrigerator or frozen for 6 months.

Chile Colorado

3 1/2 pounds beef roast, chuck, etc.
1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Cut the meat into 1- to 2-inch chunks and dry well with paper towels. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat, and brown the meat on all sides in small batches. Remove the meat chunks as they brown and set on a plate.

2 medium onions, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tsp. salt
4 c. beef stock

After the meat is done, add the onions to the pressure cooker pot, adding a little oil if necessary. Sauté until soft and golden, 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the garlic and salt together. When the onions are done, stir in the garlic and salt. Add the browned meat, any juices from the plate, and the beef stock. Secure the pressure cooker lid. Bring to high pressure and cook for 15 minutes at high pressure, then use natural release for 15 minutes. Quick release any remaining pressure after the timer is up.

2 c. Red chile sauce (above)
1 tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 to 2 tbsp. New Mexican chile powder (optional)

Drain off all but 1 cup of broth from the pot and reserve for another dish. Leaving the meat and 1 cup broth in the pot, add Red chile sauce, cumin, oregano, and chile powder (if you're using it). Secure the lid again and return the pressure cooker to high pressure, cooking again for 10 minutes. Use the natural release again for 15 minutes, then quick release any remaining pressure.

3 tbsp. masa harina flour
1/4 c. water
1 c. black olives (for garnish)
1/4 c. minced cilantro (for garnish)

Blend the masa harina into the water and blend into the stew to thicken it. Simmer for 5 minutes. Warm the tortillas on a dry skillet. Serve Chile Colorado in bowls with olives and cilantro to add as well as the tortillas for dunking.

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