Chile Con Carne Rojo, Sonoran Style

Total Time
1hr 30mins
Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr

This recipe came to me in a cookbook published as a fund-raiser by the faculty of the school where I taught. I've used it for thirty years or so, making so many changes along the way that it is now truly "my" recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the cut-up beef in a dutch oven or similar large kettle, cover with water and boil with salt, pepper, garlic, onion, and 3-4 bay leaves. Boil until meat is tender.
  2. Remove bay leaves and throw them away. Remove the meat.
  3. Pour the liquid into another container. (I use a good-sized plastic pitcher.).
  4. Stir the chili paste into the liquid. ( Or use 8 ounces of the paste and 8 ounces of made-from-scratch chile sauce. Or if you have an asbestos tongue, skip the commercial stuff entirely!).
  5. Melt shortening in the bottom of the kettle. Add flour and cook until brown, stirring almost constantly.
  6. Add 10 cups or so of the beef stock/chile mixture gradually, while stirring. (It's like making gravy.).
  7. Reduce heat and add oregano, cumin, more garlic, and salt to taste.
  8. Stir in the meat.
  9. DO NOT add tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, or any other tomato product!
  10. Serve with flour tortillas and refried beans. Or make your own burros and serve it that way. Left overs (if any) freeze well.


Most Helpful

I have this recipe cooking as we speak, and it smells sensational. The flavours are equally outstanding. I am a sniff and taste cook, and am able to determine by flavour and aroma if the recipe will be worthy of ingrediens. This one certainly is more than worthy. I like that it is a large quantity, because I do like to freeze meal size portions. I shall serve this with crusty french bread for dipping; and/or large taco shells for that preference. Makes a great lunch item, with tossed mesculin salad. I also like that you insist we do not use tomato product; for then the flavour and texture is not changed from chili to pasta sauce. I love it. Thanks again. Yes, I did use fresh chopped garlic (I do not use garlic or onion powders). Thanks for posting; I am happy to have seen the link....

TOOLBELT DIVA March 16, 2007

I have been using this recipe for almost a year now. If you want authentic Sonoran chili con carne, this is the recipe. This is what I remember as a child.

sonoranvalleycactus April 29, 2008

I was a little leary of this recipe since it's a bit out of my comfort zone but I am so glad I tried it! I did send away for the red chili paste (I have the website if anyone wants it) and then plunged right in. It was very tasty ~ DH loved it. Thanks for posting this!!!!

Lvs2Cook May 19, 2007

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