It has been awhile since I shared a recipe with you guys. This is actually a recipe that I threw together using basic techniques that I learned throughout the years.
I would like to go on record that this is not the traditional “green chile” stew. Traditionally, green chile stew is made with pork, however, I don’t really care for pork in stew. My recipe is very much tomato based which is not typical of a “green chile” stew. There is some added red pepper flake for spice. Additionally, if you have hot green chiles available, that is also an option to crank up the spice. If you really want to feel the burn, substitute original Rotel for hot.
- 2 lbs. of beef stew meat
- 1/4 cup of flour to coat the meat
- 1/4 cup of flour for the roux
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 1 can of Muir Glen tomato sauce
- 1 can of Muir Glen stewed tomatoes
- 1 can of diced potatoes
- 1 can of Original Rotel
- 1 can of diced green chile
- 1 can of mixed vegetables (Veg-All)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp of coarse ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp of coarse Kosher salt
- Enameled cast iron pot or cast iron braiser pan
- First, take a look at your stew meat. My grocery store cuts the meat into very large chunks that, as is, will be too large to eat in one bite. I take the time to cut those larger chunks into more manageable pieces. You want to have each of the chunks roughly the same size so they cook evenly.
- Salt and pepper the meat and then lightly coat in flour making sure to remove large excess of any flour. For ease, I put 1/4 cup flour in a container or Ziploc bag and shake to coat the meat.
- Using your enameled pan, heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable (or another light colored, high temperature oil) and 1 tablespoon of butter. I typically use sunflower oil. On my stove, medium heat is hot enough.
- Do not over crowd the surface of your pan. That’s a quick way to lower the temperature of your pan and you most definitely do not want that. If the meat doesn’t immediately sizzle and start to brown, your pan is not hot enough. It usually takes me 3-4 batches to sear the 2lbs. of meat.
- After completing the searing process and removing all of the meat to a holding plate, turn down the heat slightly. Your pan is going to be super hot from searing and you don’t want to burn the butter. Melt 1/4 cup butter in the pan.
- Add 1/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper, and bay leaf to the butter and cook for about a minute. Just long enough to “cook” the flour.
- Slowly whisk in the 2 cups of beef broth. It will thicken to a gravy consistency.
- Turn down the heat to low. Whisk in the can of tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes, green chiles, and Rotel. The sauce will be thick.
- Add the seared beef back to the sauce. Cover and simmer on very low for no less than 1 hour. Typically, I simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours if the beef is particularly tough. Just keep checking the tenderness every half hour. The goal here is slowly simmer, not boil.
- Once tenderness is achieved, add the can of diced potatoes and mixed vegetables. Continue to simmer on low for 15-20 minutes. This should be long enough to heat the canned vegetables through.
- Last step is to always sample and see if you need to add more seasoning. Because the amount of salt in canned goods varies, it will not always been consistent. I typically have to add more freshly ground pepper and a dash or two of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. That usually does the trick. Other seasonings you might want to try is onion powder or garlic powder.
Can I use a non-stick pot? The short answer is yes. However, if you want the best results, cast iron is really the path to take. In my experience, non-stick does not sear the meat as well as cast iron, nor does it create that magical crust on the bottom from searing the meat. Those crusty bits of flavor are deglazed and add a ton of flavor to the stew. I have never been able to replicate that with a non-stick pot. Can you achieve the end product? Yes, but my experience has been non-stick pans will not create the same texture from the meat, or the same flavor in the broth.
Yes, I use canned vegetables. Yes, I feel like I have to defend them. One of my hobbies is browsing recipes to try and reading the comments for further guidance. A lot can be learned from the comments, positive and negative. The most negative thing I consistently read is the attack on any recipe that uses canned and/or prepared items. This always angers me. I get it. Some people have the extra income and extra time for vegetable prep every day. Some people wake up every Saturday morning to hit up the farmer’s market and hand pick the world’s finest organic vegetables. Some people have dietary restrictions where they must watch sodium intake. Some people have the privilege to worry about those kind of things. I get it. At the same time, I don’t understand the shaming. Is fresh better? Yes. Is canned so bad that we need to make people feel lesser about it? No. So, if a recipe calls for canned goods, and it is not the way you do things, nothing says you can’t alter the recipe yourself. That does not make the recipe “bad”, it makes it not for you. And if you just absolutely cannot stand it, just move on. It really is that simple. So, yes. I try to use fresh where possible, but in this stew, canned works just fine!
Anyhow, let me hop off my soap box.
My family loves to eat this stew with some cornbread muffins. It always seems to hit the spot! It takes a long time to make, but it is worth it!