Turning us into chili peppers, one meal at a time!

What better than a comforting bowl of stew on a cool fall night…

Apparently that’s been a theme here lately!

And last night’s dinner, another recipe from my beloved Oaxaca al Gusto, did not disappoint 🙂

Perfect too since The Man and I decided to stay in and watch scary movies in lieu of dressing up and going out… we felt kind of guilty about it at first but it definitely ended up being the perfect choice for us.  With all that has been going on lately it was just what we needed!

Asado de res (Beef Stew)

Here’s what I started with:

Onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, scotch bonnet pepper, Mexican oregano, cloves, olive oil.

Simply add the onion and garlic to a pot with some olive oil for about 5 minutes.  Then in goes the beef.  I chose a local grass-fed stew meat from the farmer’s market.

Season with salt, pepper, oregano and cloves.  Cover and let cook over medium until beef it browned, about 10 minutes.

Then add the tomatoes, potatoes, scotch bonnet (which I toasted like this) and some water.

Cover and let cook over medium-low for another hour or two.  I let it go two since we had the time, gotta love cooking on the weekends 😀

To serve with the stew I took a stab at some homemade tortillas.

They may look pretty but I definitely have some work to do on these, the texture was just not quite right.  I think I need a tortilla press (hello Christmas present ideas ehh hmmm 😉 )

Tortilla Fail.

Beef Stew WIN.

Served with some fresh steamed broccoli, which the farmer at the market advised soaking in salt water prior to cooking because there could be “critters” in there…  hmmmm don’t know how I feel about that 😉

No critters here.  Phew.

But back to the stew, which had the perfect amount of heat.  Love these scotch bonnets, they have not only a spiciness but also great flavor.  The meat and potatoes were fall apart tender.   Plus the Mexican oregano and cloves gave the stew a flavor like I have never tasted…

Upon further research I learned that Mexican oregano is in fact stronger than your familiar Mediterranean oregano.  It also carries notes of citrus and mild licorice, which could explain it.  I loved it!

I also had another kitchen adventure yesterday prepping for the upcoming week, here’s a little hint 😉

I have a problem.

I promised The Man that I’d try to work in some more “traditional” fall meals soon… this Mexican obsession may turn us into chili peppers at this rate if not! 😛

Beef Stew (Mexican Style)

If you’re looking for a twist on the traditional beef stew, I highly recommend trying this recipe.  I made a few minor changes to the original Diana Kennedy recipe:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. stew meat
  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 7 red potatoes, sliced thick
  • 1 heaping tsp Mexican oregano
  • 3 cloves, crushed
  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, about 5 minutes.  Add meat and spices, cook until browned, about 10 minutes.  Add tomatoes, potatoes and water – cover and cook for another hour or two, stirring occasionally.  Add in additional water as necessary depending on what consistency you like.

I’m sure this would work great in the crockpot as well.  I’d  probably brown the meat before adding and reduce the amount of water a bit.

How is it Sunday already? 😛

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7 responses to “Turning us into chili peppers, one meal at a time!

  1. My Aunt is bringing us some fresh peppers! I will be scouting your blog for recipe ideas 😉 Another winner!! Happy Halloween

  2. I love my tortilla press. They’re $10-20 for a cast iron one at the local latino market. I’m learning to press them really thin without breaking them. Then, the trick is to use them hot off the griddle or transfer them to a tortilla warmer. Look that up. It’s basically two pot-holders sewn together and you stuff the tortillas in like you were making a pita sandwich. That contains the steam throughout dinner. Looking forward to more Oaxacan adventures.

    • thanks so much for the heads up on the tortilla press and warmer, i’ll definitely need to both of those very soon! do you have a favorite Latino market around town? i go to the one on broad by horsepen… but any other suggestions?

      • I don’t really have a go-to latino market. When I pass one, and I have time, I go in because I’m bound to learn something. A lot of the staples are the same from one store to the other, but some have really unique products. Salvage stores on the Southside also have a lot to offer. One thing I recommend when going to a latino market for a specialty product that Diane Kennedy or Rick Bayless recommends is to tell the clerk what you’re making and ask what you need. Sure, you’ll still pick up the things on your list, but the clerk’s suggestions will diverge from the recipe in some way and give you ideas for adaptations that wouldn’t have come to mind since, like me, y0u’re probably cooking out of your normal context.

        I went on Twitter and asked which latino markets people like best and got these two responses:

        @kelleil: I’m partial to bodega Latina on broad. I like la milpa too. Big apple on Jeff Davis has the best selection but not worth my drive

        @farmerrussell: the one on staplesmill near jomoco glass is pretty great. There selection of south american lagers is a real plus

      • Wow thanks so much!!! Such a great idea to ask about the ingredients, because yes, it’s definitely out of my normal cooking “comfort zone.” I’m definitely going to do that next time. There are some ladies at our farmer’s market from Mexico and they always give me such fabulous ideas for meals using ingredients I’m unfamiliar with – such a great way to learn about another culture’s food.

  3. Happy Halloween my friend! We decided to stay in last night as well. I definitely felt guilty for about the first 15 minutes but then got over it pretty quickly. Waking up this morning without feeling cruddy made me feel even better! Have a wonderful evening! 🙂

  4. It all looks delicious! I love peppers!

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