duck-shaped pain


25 November 2001
Oh Yes

The stew I mentioned in the last entry? Better than good. Possibly one of the best meals I've made lately. Nothing like a small edible triumph to light up an otherwise dull day.

Green Chile Stew

(Adapted from a recipe in Southwest: The Beautiful Cookbook by Barbara Pool Fenzl. [1] Changes were made according to what I had in the cupboard and what was available on a late Sunday at the grocery store.)

  • 6 Anaheim or New Mexico green chiles

  • 1 large bell pepper, any color (red ones are best, but the stores around me are charging too much for them right now -- $2.99 each -- so I went with green)

  • 1 jalapeno pepper (optional -- the stew is quite spicy without it, if that gives you a clue)

  • 1 pound cubed stew beef

  • 1 pound cubed stew pork

  • 2 tbsp. plus 4 tbsp. butter

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp. hot crushed red pepper

  • 1 tbsp. mild chile powder (this and the crushed red pepper can be varied according to personal taste)

  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin

  • 6 cups warm chicken broth

  • 1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes

  • 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, diced

Roast the green chiles, the bell pepper and the jalapeno (if used) using a broiler or a grill. When the skins of the chiles and peppers are charred and puffed up, remove them and place them in a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the roasted chiles/peppers steam for ten minutes or so. Under cool water, rub or peel off the charred skin off each chile, then remove the stems, seeds and white core from each one. If including the jalapeno, be very careful when skinning and seeding it. Rubber gloves are advised, or you can improvise by putting plastic bags over your hands when handling it. After the chiles/peppers are skinned and seeded, chop them finely and set aside.

In a heavy skillet, melt two tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the cubed beef and pork and stir, browing the meat in the butter for about six or seven minutes. Lower the heat and cover until it is time to add the meat to the soup.

In a large, heavy soup pot, melt the rest of the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them until they are soft. Add the flour to the onion/butter mix and cook for two to three minutes, stirring continuously. Continue to stir while adding the crushed red pepper, chile powder, garlic and cumin, and cook for another minute or so.

Now add the chicken broth, which is a bit of a production. Hold the chicken broth in one hand, and add it to the pot in a slow, steady stream, while you stir all the ingredients together with your other hand, using a whisk. Continue stirring until the mixture is smooth, with no flour lumps or other unsightliness.

Now add the browned meat, the roasted chiles/peppers, the tomatoes and the cilantro. Stir, and bring everything to a simmer. Lower the heat and continue simmering for 10 to 15 minutes.

Eat, topped with cheese or sour cream. Serve with warm tortillas, or if you're feeling sprightly, quesadillas.

[1] This is a big, fairly unwieldy cookbook, but all the things I've made with its assistance have turned out really great. Plus, the pictures are great -- it's easily the best piece of food porn I own.

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