This beef Chili Verde stew is thick, rich and wonderfully tasty. Preparing it heats up the kitchen. Eating it gives warm comfort in this cold weather while tasting good and providing good nutrition for the body.
The meat for this stew was a roast from a pasture finished steer raised on Clover Hill Pastures, in South Woodford County, KY. We like this beef for several reasons. It’s locally raised by farmers who really care about the quality of the animals’ lives and the quality of the meat, and because it’s raised strictly on good pasture, so, it’s a very healthy meat.
Preparation time: About 3 hours
I started with an almost 6 lb, bone-in, arm roast:
For the richest flavor in any stew, always brown the meat before putting it into a stew pot. I discovered long ago that it browns beautifully in the oven and doesn’t create near the mess that browning on top of the stove creates.
Start with setting the oven to preheat to 400 degrees.
Trim off any excess fat and and layer it in the bottom of an iron skillet. Cut the meat into about 1 1/2″ cubes and place the cubes, along with the bone, on top of the fat pieces. This roast yielded about 4 lbs of meat cubes.
Let the meat cook until it is very brown. At least 1/2 hour. It should be very brown on the outside but still mostly raw on the inside.
Place the browned meat into a stew pot, being careful to separate the rendered fat pieces and the bone, out from the meat. Pour the melted fat into the pot. Scrape the pan and add water. Add the scrapings and the water to the stew pot.
Do not throw away the bone or the cooked fat pieces, which may have some meat on them.
Add one large can of tomatillos, which can be purchased in the Mexican section of the grocery store, or as I do, one or two quarts of home canned green tomatoes. The tomatillos and the green tomatoes both add a very acid tang to the stew, so, it depends on taste as to how much you add.
I added two quarts to this stew. It is very tangy but a sour cream garnish tames it down.
several cloves of chopped garlic
about 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
jalapeno or other chilies to taste. The chilies can be dried or canned, or just use a hot sauce such as Tabasco.
1Tbl spoon cumin seed mixed with 1Tbl coriander seed: Toast the spices, in a small skillet, on the stove and then grind them in a mortar or coffee grinder that is only used for spices. Toasting the spices brings out their full flavor.
2Tbl dried oregano leaves
2 tsp. ground sea salt
Optional: 1/4 or more cup of red wine Add enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Bring the stew to a slow simmer.
Cover the pot with a lid that is slightly cracked, to let out steam. Let the stew simmer until the meat is tender and the liquid is good and thick. Check on it and stir occasionally making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot.
It only takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours for the meat to become fork tender. The stew will be get thick very quickly at the end of the cooking time, so, keep an eye on it, to make sure nothing burns on the bottom of the pot. (You may be wondering how I know all of this? )
About 10 minutes before serving, add 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped sweet green and red frozen peppers. I used frozen peppers that came from our garden last summer. Fresh peppers are good but they may need more than 10 minutes to cook.
Serve with corn tortillas, cornbread, potatoes or as I do, with Besan Puda Dosa (ksrquilter.wordpress.com/2015/01/).
Garnish with sour cream ( organic or Daisy Brand that are made from just cream), and chopped onion or shallots.
The cabbage salad was made with sliced green cabbage tossed with a vinaigrette of one part Pomegranate-Quince White balsamic vinegar whisked with 2 parts of lime infused olive oil.
Stuartos in Lexington carries a whole line of flavored balsamic vinegars and fused and infused olive oils. (www.stuartos.com) I love experimenting with them and they add a lot of bang to a meal.
This recipe makes enough to have lots of leftovers or to freeze half of it and have a ready made dinner on hand.
One last thing. Remember that bone and fat pieces , that i said to keep? Put them into a pot, and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and simmer over low heat until the bone is completely clean. About 2-3 hours. Check to make sure the water stays above the bone. Cool the liquid and strain out the bone and left over fat pieces. You now have a very rich stock that is very good as a base for a pot of soup. It is excellent as a base for borscht or vegetable soup.
Joyfully Creating in the Kitchen,