Welcome to MeatHenge’s New Mexican Chili Beef Stew. Within the following article you will find a stewed chili beef recipe sure to make your mouth water and your tortillas swell. Clearly it can be used for a handful of different applications, but our favorite IS the tortilla platter.
I will do my best to lay out what I did. Mostly because this is a combination of maybe two or three different recipes (I made it up). I can’t stress enough, if you have any questions please email the lab staff of MeatHenge.
An ingredient overview.
Since what we’re making, New Mexican Chili Beef Stew implies we’ll at least need New Mexican dried chilis, start with that at the top of your list. You’ll need about 20 or so. I used maybe 12 with 8 Anchos, but you can do what you like as far as the dried chilis go.
Lotsa fresh garlic.
Cumin Seeds (get ready to pulverize)
Badass blender (VitaMix if you have one)
Latex gloves (so you don’t get a chili burn)
For the stew part
2 fresh poblano chilis
2 stalks of celery
1.5 to 2 lbs of beef stew meat
A few bay leaves
Nopales, gotta have these to make it thick and tasty. Cactus comes fresh (duh) and you can buy it in a jar. I used the jar this time due to laziness. Just make sure you rinse it under cold water thoroughly first.
Optional: fresh ‘maters or whatever else you need to get rid of in the kitchen. Remember, this is a beef stew and therefore can absorb many fine ingredients lingering in your cooler.
The first part is to make your chili sauce. For the next three hours your mantra is, “I will not pick my nose, I will not rub my eyes, I will not pick my nose, I will not rub my eyes.” Repeat this for three hours. Put on your gloves and remove the stems, veins and seeds of the chilis. Put chilis into a pot that had boiling water in it, cover and let sit for maybe an hour (not boiling, fire off). I let mine sit for 45 minutes and they came out fine. Get your tongs out and put the chilis into your blender with maybe a cup of chili water. Or you can use fresh water. That chili water is pretty damn bitter and not good for much. I’ve tried to use it for other things and it just doesn’t work well. Put in maybe 3 cloves of garlic or however much you like. Whiz the chilis until smooth. You may have to add more water, that’s fine. You’re looking for a nice sauce consitency. Not all chuncky and not watery. Pour sauce through a fine steel mesh sieve into a sauce pan, add cumin, salt, sugar to taste. Simmer lightly for maybe 15 to 20 minutes. The sugar is an odd one, but use your taste buds to figure it out. I used maybe a 1/2 tsp. of cumin and a few pinches of salt and 2 tsp of sugar. The sugar helps a lot.
Here you see the chili sauce all simmered nice.
While the chili sauce is simmering, roast your poblano chilis over a flame until all black and crispy. Put the chilis into a paper sack for ten minutes, then pull the suckers out and scrape the blackened skins off. Pull the stems and seeds out, dice up along with an onion and your celery.
Cube up your beef meats into small bite sized chunks, season with salt, pepper or whatever and dust with flour. Put a nice lump of lard into a dutch oven of some kind and git your vegies all translucent. When that’s done, dump them into the chili sauce. Brown the meat a bit then toss all the chili sauce and everything into the dutch with the meat.
Add stock, I used a whole container of organic beef stock. But I don’t care what you use, water if you want. Since I knew I was going to simmer this in a 300 degree oven for 5 hours, I chose to add a fair amount of liquid. Add the nopales now, don’t saute them. Why? I dunno, they just seem ready to go. I suppose you could go either way, try it out. Oh, and don’t forget the bay leaves, maybe 2 if they’re small. This is also a good time to add the fresh diced tomatoes if you have them, or whatever else suits you.
You’re now ready to pop it into the oven on the lower rack.
Between 5 and 6 hours later you have THIS. You surely could have done it in less time in a faster oven, maybe 350. But I had the time that day to let it sit. I cook my stews until I get the rich consistency I crave, nothing is written in stone. I also like to let it sit for maybe 30 minutes and lose some of that oven high heat. During that time dice up some fresh white onions, clintro, cheese, limes … all the goodies.
You’ll also need your favorite tortillas. We at MeatHenge are generally a corn tortilla way of doing things, and make DAMN SURE there is only 3 ingredients in your corn tortillas. Not 250. They’re just corn tortillas after all, eh? If you’d like to make your own, Rick Bayliss really has a great method for doing them.