chile-colorado

It’s April, and beef stew is so over. Problem is, we’ve still got plenty of beef for braising, and waiting ’til next year seems unwise, especially after our recent experience with year-old pork chops. Mmm. So I let myself to be suckered in by this chile recipe, from Aidell & Kelly’s Complete Meat Cookbook, seeing as how it didn’t really sound like stew and looked pretty darn easy to boot. Turns out to be a keeper. For such a simple preparation, the flavors were tremendous and played wonderfully with stewed beans and sauteed seasonal greens. And I love the minimal effort involved. It could be very easily adapted for a slow cooker if you wish.

Chile Colorado

2 dried ancho or other red chilies / 2 lbs beef stew meat, such as chuck / 1 large onion, chopped / 1 tsp cumin / 1 tsp coriander / 2 cloves garlic, chopped / ½ tsp dried oregano or 2 tsp fresh / 2 cups meat stock or beer

Soak the chilies in hot water for 20 minutes, or until soft. Meanwhile, cut the beef into 1-inch cubes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy casserole over medium-high heat. Swirl in vegetable oil when hot and brown cubes in batches, about 6 minutes per batch, then set aside.

When the chilies are ready, remove seeds and stems and place in a food processor along with onion, cumin, coriander, garlic, oregano, and ¼ cup of strained chile soaking liquid or water. Process to a puree. Pour puree into casserole along with browned meat, stock or beer, and enough water to cover the cubes. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low and cook for about 3 hours, until beef is tender. Feeds 4-6.

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