Skip to main content


Pressure Cooker Chili Colorado


The combination of warm, spicy chiles, meltingly tender meat, and fresh, bright garnishes makes one of the most comforting and satisfying meals we can think of. And because it’s braised in the pressure cooker, what would normally take upwards of three hours is done in under one.

Serves 6

3 cups filtered water

2 dried pasilla chilis or guajillo, stems and seeds removed

3 dried new Mexican chilis, stems and seeds removed

1 dried ancho chili, stems and seeds removed

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 white onion, diced

6 smashed garlic cloves, skins removed

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons Mexican oregano

½ fresh Serrano, seeds removed and roughly chopped

⅓ cup roughly chopped cilantro stems and leaves

1 ½ tablespoons salt + extra for seasoning the meat

2 pounds beef chuck (or boneless pork shoulder), cut into 2-inch x 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 bay leaf

optional garnishes:

cooked brown or white rice

corn or flour tortillas

sliced avocado

queso fresco

fresh limes

diced white onion

fresh serrano slices


1. Bring 3 cups of filtered water to a boil.

2. While the water heats up, place a large cast iron or frying pan over medium heat. Add the dried chiles and toast for a minute or two on each side—you want them to be fragrant but not burned. Move the toasted chiles to a medium bowl and pour over the boiling water. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

3. In the same cast iron pan, pour in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the diced onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until just starting to brown and become tender.

4. Add the garlic cloves, cumin seeds, and Mexican oregano and cook for 1 more minute.

5. Transfer the onion mixture to a powerful blender. Pour over the chiles and soaking liquid, and add in the serrano, cilantro, and salt. Blend on high until smooth. (Be careful when blending hot liquids!)

6. Set the multi-cooker to “brown” function (if your pressure cooker doesn’t have a browning function, heat your cleaned-out large cast iron pan instead). While it heats, season the beef pieces generously with salt (you’ll need about 1 teaspoon for all of it), and dust evenly with 1 tablespoon of flour.

5. Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into the multi-cooker (or frying pan), then sear the meat for about 3 minutes per side, or until nicely browned. If all the pieces don’t fit in one layer, do this in batches, removing the browned meat to a plate to rest as you go. Turn off the browning function.

6. Place all of the meat back in the pressure cooker, pour over the chile sauce, and throw in the bay leaf. Secure the lid and set the steam valve to “pressure.” Turn on the “pressure” function and set the timer to 40 minutes. When it’s done its thing, carefully open the valve from “pressure” to “steam” (watch out for hot steam), and unlock the top.

7. Serve over rice or with corn or flour tortillas, sliced avocado, crumbled queso fresco, limes, and cilantro.

You may also like