31 Jul




Okay , So this is  COLORADO CHILE ,

and should never be confused with

Colorado beetle  bug

a black-and-yellow beetle, (sometime reddish , ) Leptinotarsa decemlineata, ,  that is a serious pest of potatoes, feeding on the leaves .


COLORADO CHILE   it is not from COLORADO the state.

Although it could be

Colorado is of Spanish origin,  meaning “colored red.” The name was applied to the Colorado river (because of the red sandstone soil of the region)

And , As Everyone knows,

came into use for the entire territory after the discovery of gold in the Pike’s Peak region.

In 1861 congress chose Colorado as the name for the Territory.

But , enough of that.

So this is basically red chile and although Roj0 ,  is also RED  in Spanish and many make ,  Carne Con Chile Rojo ( which is also red chile ) I could not find out why one is one ,  and the other is the other .

Maybe My Niece with the degree in Spanish might know helpor One of my Mexican friends   mex


This recipe is very close to the TEXAS RED   cc33   Served by the Chile Queens    cq 

 in San Antonio.   cq2

For more than 100 years, women would arrive at twilight at the plazas of San Antonio, Texas, with makeshift tables and pots of Chile to cook over open fires. The plazas teemed with people: soldiers, tourists, cattlemen and troubadours roamed the tables, filling the night with music

mend2     Tejano music legend Lydia Mendoza began her singing career in the plazas of downtown San Antonio in the early 1930s.


The Queens, who were for the most part Mexican, made their chili at home and then loaded it onto colorful little chili wagons, on which they transported it to the plaza, along with pots, crockery, and all the other gear necessary to feed the nineteenth-century night people. They build mesquite fires on the square to keep the chili warm, lighted the wagons with colored lanterns, and squatted on the ground beside the cart, dishing out chili to customers who sat on wooden stools to eat the delightful and fiery stew.

All this went on from nightfall until just before sunrise, when the vegetable vendors came on with their carts to occupy the Military Plaza, which had become known as “La Plaza del Chile con Carne.”

The Chili Queens remained a highlight in San Antonio for many years (there was even a “San Antonio Chili Stand” at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893)



As cattle trail chili grew in popularity throughout the tiny Texas trail towns, so too, did its devotees. Frank and Jesse James fell prey to its taste and are said to have eaten a few bowls of “red” before pulling many of their bank jobs. At least one town, it is noted, was spared from their shooting and looting by the local chili parlor. Fort Worth had a chili joint just north of town, and the James boys rode in there just for the chili, vowing never to rob their bank because “anyplace that has a chili joint like this just oughta’ be treated better.”

And Pat Garrett is supposed to have said of William Bonney – Billy the Kid: “Anybody that eats chili cant’ be all bad.”




cc44          cc55

So now as it turns out

,it has been more then 30 years since My father- in -law ,  Don Richter   ,drtook me to a taco joint in San Antonio for the best tacos in the world.

It was a kind of buffet and you could build your own tacos from about 3 dozen different kind of fillings .

” Take the flour tortillas and some of this meat in the brown gravy . You’ve never had anything this good .”

” Okay ” I said .   What did I know ,  I hadn’t even seen soft tacos before.

”  MAN – OH –  MAN !! ”


And We pigged out . I think I ate about a dozen .

We went back there 2 more times during that week long  visit. Always with a blessing from my Mother-in Law  ,  Audrey  , ” Donald, don’t you be  eating those tacos.”

God Bless her    .  hp22.jpg


In all time since I have looked  for that recipe.

I have not been able to find it . Not in all the cook books I have or  all the ones in  the library.

Not one of my Mexican Amigos have even heard of this {MEAT WITH GRAVY FOR TACOS}

Then I got to think  , maybe it was a mole sauce .

I tried the mole sauce a couple of different places and was pretty sure that wasn’t it .

Then I saw this picture  ,    cc55       and

”   Holy Mackerel ! THAT’S IT ! ”

Maybe it wasn’t quite brown , more a  deep red …ish… sort of .. kinda.

Well it was a long time ago and  Yes , I am getting old , but this is it .

Here’s to you,  Pop    TacoBar3



5 ancho chile   pasillancho   Get yourself a pair of kitchen shears. They’ll make cutting open these dried peppers a heck of a lot easier and there good for other stuff too !  shears     ancho

2 pasilla chile         pas

2 guajillos       .pasguj

}    Look for chiles that are soft and pliable, like a raisin.

8 cups home made chicken stock ( or College Inn if not)     College-Inn-

pork  shoulder 2 lb. – cut into 1/2 ” cubes

Pork lard   lard They sell it at the Mexican store

6 garlic cloves – smashed, and chopped

2 fresh bay leaves

1 TBSP cumin

2 TSP fresh sage

2 Tsp.  MEXICAN  oregano ( it makes the difference ! )     org

2 Tsp. Sugar

2 Tbsp. white vinegar

Flour tortillas elmil( these are my favorite )


Remove seeds and stems from chiles

Cover chiles with 3 cups boiling chicken stock  cover bowl with plastic wrap and let them soak for 30 minutes until plump and tender.

Put chiles and liquid in a blender and puree.

Season pork cubes with plenty of salt and fresh ground pepper.  Let sit for 1/2 hour .

Brown meat in a little of the pork lard ( okay ,  use extra virgin olive oil if the LARD scares you ) Do not crowd .  Do it in 3 batches if you need to.

Add in Garlic , bay leaves , cumin , sage , oregano and stir for 2 minutes

Add in 5 cups chicken stock and simmer for 1 hour

Add chile puree , sugar and vinegar ,  and simmer for another 45 minutes until meat tis very tender and sauce is a red –  mahogany color.

May a little more  salt and pepper , maybe a little more  splash of vinegar to taste ?


Eat and Enjoy !


You can make tacos or serve this  with Mexican rice, .


1 cup long grain rice    rice

2 Tbsp Pork lard  lard

1 onion – chopped up onion2      chop

2 TBSP tomato paste      tp22 This is very convenient and just about right . Plus you can use it later and not waste 1/2 a can of paste. Look for it at the store.



  • 2 cups  chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Melt lard in  a saucepan with a good fitting lid.

Sauté  rice until golden  brown in color.   Keep stirring.

Add Onions and cook for 2 minutes

Add tomato paste and cook for 2 more minutes

Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to low .


Turn off heat let sit 10 minubte DO NOT LIFT LID!!!!

The steam that is trapped inside the pan is what allows the rice to cook properly.

  • Remove from heat and fluff with fork.

Eat and Enjoy !







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