This Slow Cooker Red Chile Beef is a hearty, rich and flavorful meal. It’s a delicious Mexican recipe that the whole family will love!
About 12 years ago I was visiting family in Arizona and my cousin made this amazing Red Chile Beef. She served it with Mexican Rice, green cabbage and lots of lime squeezed on top. It was by far one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten. The beef simmered slowly on the stove for hours, giving such a rich flavor.
Several years back I was craving that amazing meal so I called my cousin and asked her how to make it. She had no clue what I was talking about. I explained the steps (what I could remember) and how it was served, and still, nothing. I was starting to feel like maybe I’d imagined the whole thing! Then her daughter came to visit last December and I asked her about and right away she called her mom saying, “How could you not know what she was talking about?!” Needless to say I now have the recipe, and I’m sharing it here with you!
This is a fairly simple recipe, but it does take some time to prepare. Most of that is just cooking time, so you’re not tied to the stove. Red Chile Beef starts with, of course, red chiles! You can find the dehydrated chiles (like these) at most grocery stores. They are boiled in a small post on the stove to re-hydrate them in order to make the sauce.
The sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a day or two. Be careful with these – they aren’t incredibly spicy, but they do stain. I do not recommend wearing white leggings while making this sauce. (That sounded pretty specific, right? You should see my poor leggings). You can use a food processor or blender to mix the sauce. I used a food processor but I actually would recommend a blender to get a smoother consistency.
The beef itself can be stew meat, or a roast, like a round roast or even tri tip. Chuck would work as well, but it’s got a little too much fat. The meat is cut into large or small chunks, browned in a little olive oil then added to the slow cooker and coated with sauce.
It then cooks on low for about 6-8 hours. Slow cooker temperatures can vary, so I recommend checking every hour after the 6th hour. When the meat falls apart easily, it’s ready.
Red Chile Beef is typically served over/with Mexican Rice, but I actually like it with just white rice. We serve it with a little green cabbage on top for some texture and crunch. And of course, several squeezes of lime juice. We like key limes, but regular limes are fine too.
Slow Cooker Red Chile Beef
Red Chile Sauce
- 3 ounce package dried Red California or Guajillo Peppers (8-9 peppers)
- 2 teaspoons (1-2 cloves) minced garlic
- 1/4 medium white or yellow onion (about 1/4 cup)
- 3-4 pounds Beef Roast (like Top Round or Top Sirloin)
- Salt & Pepper
- Olive Oil
- 6 cups cooked white rice, or Mexican Rice
- 2 cups shredded green cabbage
- 6 limes or 8 key limes
- Place peppers in a 3 quart pot and cover with water, at least 2 inches above peppers.
- Bring water to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and let peppers simmer for about an hour. Use a fork or spatula to gently flip peppers a few times so they cook evenly.
- Remove stems from the cooked peppers. Place peppers, garlic, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and about 1 cup of cooking liquid into a blender (recommended) or food processor. Blend until completely smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed.
- Sauce can be used immediately or refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with a tablespoon of olive oil. If using a large roast, cut into 4-5 pieces. Season with a little salt and pepper and place in the skillet, browning on each side; about 2 minutes per side.
- Place meat in the slow cooker. Pour sauce over the meat and stir to coat completely.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours. You will know it's done because the meat will easily fall apart when pierced with a fork.
- Shred meat in the slow cooker and re-cover. Continue to cook on low for 30 minutes.
- Place some cooked white or Mexican rice in a flat bottomed bowl or on a plate. Top with shredded meat and a small amount of green cabbage. Add a few squeezes of lime juice and a pinch of salt. Serve hot.
Fore more delicious Mexican dishes, try these: