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Bear Chile Colorado Recipe

This recipe for chile colorado is made with bear roast and is very versatile. Serve the braised meat alongside rice and beans or shred it for yummy tacos!

Bear Chile Colorado Recipe

Use this Bear Chile Colorado Recipe to make tasty little tacos topped with chopped onion, cilantro, cotija cheese, and lime. (Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley photo)

Mexican food is about braised meats, slow cooked in thick, flavorful sauces full of different chilies, spices and herbs. They’re all different, from green sauces to red to brown – some are spicy and others are not. Whatever the variations, Mexican food is never boring.

This bear chile Colorado is versatile. Serve it as larger pieces with refried beans, rice and warm tortillas. Or shred them to make amazing tacos. Pictured is bear tacos with chopped onion, cilantro, crumbled cotija cheese with a squeeze of lime juice.

This bear recipe is only slightly spicy. The heat comes from the àrbol chili. If you prefer a spicier dish, add another chili or two.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours and 30 minutes


  • 2 pounds of bear roast, cut into 1½-inch cubes
  • Cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons of Knorr Beef Flavored Bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves of smashed garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Lime wedges
Bear Chile Colorado Recipe
Cut bear roast into 1-1/2-inch cubes. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley)

Chile Colorado Sauce:

  • 8 dried guajillo chili peppers
  • 3 dried ancho chili peppers
  • 1 dried àrbol chili pepper, more for spicier dish
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher salt, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Remove stems and seeds from chili peppers. Place them in a saucepan with quartered onion, cover with water and bring to a boil. Take off heat, cover the pot, and steep peppers and onion for 20 minutes.

    Bear Chile Colorado Recipe
    Bring chili peppers (guajillo, ancho, and àrbol), onion, and water to a boil. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley)
  3. Meanwhile, warm a thin layer of oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pat bear meat dry with pepper towels, and then toss with flour in a bowl. Brown meat in batches for a golden-brown color. Add more oil as necessary. Take Dutch oven off heat and return all the meat to the pot. Set aside.

    Bear Chile Colorado Recipe
    Brown the cubes of bear roast in batches until they are golden-brown in color. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley)
  4. After 20 minutes of steeping, add softened chili peppers, onion, 1 cup of cooking water, and remaining sauce ingredients into a food processor. Blend as smooth as possible. Add more cooking water if the mixture is too thick. Strain the sauce into a bowl, pushing and scraping the chili pulp and juices through the mesh with a spoon. Discard the solids.

    Bear Chile Colorado Recipe
    Blend steeped peppers, onion, and one cup of cooking water to create the chile colorado sauce. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley)
  5. Over medium heat, warm Dutch oven with browned beer meat and pour in the chile Colorado sauce. Stir in 3 cups of water, beef bouillon, garlic, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Cover the Dutch oven and bake in a 350-degree oven for 2 hours, or until bear meat becomes tender. Check the braise halfway through and add more water if it’s too dry.

    Bear Chile Colorado Recipe
    Bake bear chile colorado in a covered Dutch oven for 2 hours or until meat is tender. (Photo courtesy of Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley)
  6. Season the bear chile Colorado with salt, pepper, and cider vinegar. Serve with a squeeze of lime juice, tortillas, refried beans and rice. Shred the meat to serve as tacos.

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