If I'm being honest, beef stew isn't my favorite meal. Growing up my dad LOVED stew and would make it regularly throughout the winter. He'd typically throw in carrots, potatoes and onions. The very basic, which to me was meh. There was no flavor to it.
When the beef farmer and I moved in together it was summer time, so most of dinner plans included grilling. As it got colder and we started making more roasts and crock pot dishes, I was sad the day he asked for stew for dinner. I'd be lying if I said I was enthused. I said sure—I'll make stew for dinner. So I went ahead and made the typical stew with all of the vegetables and he was thrilled. Fast forward to the second time he asked for it, I said sure again, but I'm not eating it. He had no idea I disliked it. He said, well, see what other types of dishes you can make with stew meat. I was thrilled! That's when I went on a hunt to find other dishes that used stew meat.
If you've never cooked with stew meat before, it's a little different then other cuts of meat. It's full of flavor and is great for slow cooked meals like stews and chili's. Stew meat comes from some of the strongest and most muscular parts of the animal, making the meat a little tougher—hence why it's important to slowly cook this cut of beef.
If you've read my previous blogs, you probably know how much I love Mexican food, so when I found this recipe I was excited. I have tweaked the recipe over time as the original included several obscure hot peppers, most of which I had to order on Amazon. Ain't no one got time for that!
Red Chile Sauce
- 8 dried red chili peppers
- 1/2 medium yellow onion
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 2 tbls flour
-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbls olive oil
- 3 cups beef broth (make it homemade with this recipe)
- 2 bay leaves
Red Chile Sauce (You may consider gloves for this part)
1. In a medium pot, add dried chilies and onions. Cover with water until chilies and onions are completely submerged and bring to a boil over high heat.
2. Once boiling, remove from heat, cover and let sit for 20 minutes. It's important to have the peppers softened from this step.
3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chilies and onions into a large blender. Add in one cup of the water from the chili onion mixture, the oregano, salt, garlic and cumin.
4. Blend until smooth. Add some of the beef broth from the meat mixture if it's too thick for the blender.
5. Once the sauce is as smooth as possible, pour it through a strainer into a bowl, pushing down on the solids that accumulate to get as much moisture out as possible. Discard the solids.
1. In a large bowl, add and mix together flour, salt and pepper. Add the meat and toss until the meat is covered in the flour mixture.
2. Add olive oil to a large pot and heat to medium high. Add in the meat and brown on all sides so they have a good sear (about 5 - 10 minutes).
3. Add in the red chile sauce, beef broth and bay leaves. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.
4. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.
5. After 45 minutes, uncover, taste and add more salt as necessary. Increase heat to medium and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thicken slightly. If you prefer a thicker sauce continue to cook.
6. Once the sauce is to the desired thickness, remove from heat. Discard the bay leaves.
7. Best served with Mexican rice, beans and a Corona.