By Rod Cohenour
Hearty Beef Chili Base
This is so easy to make and extremely versatile. Eat as a big warming bowl of chili, or use to create New Mexico Style Flat Enchiladas, or mix with beans and rice rolled in a giant tortilla with cheese for a Hearty Beef Burrito, or spoon over an omelet (with plenty of onions, peppers, cheese, and cherry tomatoes mixed in) topped with sour cream and cilantro leaves for a twist on Huevos Rancheros.
No matter how you choose to serve this chili stew, you will receive raves!
- 3 lbs lean beef stew meat
- 1 lg can tomato puree
- 2 lg cans tomato sauce
- 3 10 oz cans fire roasted diced tomatoes and chiles (Rotel or similar)
- 4 Tbsp New Mexico Chile powder ( or to taste)
- 3 Tbsp ground Cumin (or to taste)
- 2 Tbsp Mrs Dash Garlic and Herb Blend
- 2 Tbsp Coriander
- 1 Tbsp garlic powder
- 32 oz Beef stock (unsalted)
- Pam or similar spray oil product, just enough to cover bottom of skillet
1. Season beef with light touches of chile powder, cumin, garlic powder and Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb blend. Spray cold skillet or large pan with Pam before placing on heat source (Important!) Brown stew meat on all sides, in batches. (Adding too much meat slows the browning process. I usually use a pound or so at a time in my large electric skillet.)
2. In a large Dutch oven, blend canned products and spices. To this, add browned stew meat and deglaze the skillet, using a very small amount of the beef stock, adding browned bits and liquid to the Dutch oven.
3. Stir meat and liquids then add balance of beef stock. Stir very well.
4. Set Dutch oven on medium heat burner and permit to warm chile gradually, stirring frequently to make sure no scorching occurs.
5. Chile should simmer for at least one hour, preferably two, to allow the meat to become fully tenderized and the flavors to blend. Do not leave unattended for long periods. Continue to stir and regulate heat as necessary to prevent scorching.
Serve with an assortment of toppings, such as tostada chips, (see photo below) diced or quartered chilled onions, grated cheeses, avocado slices, sour cream, cilantro leaves or warrm buttered flour tortillas or, to try something a little different, a big pan of fresh hot cornbread.
Excellent with a simple salad of greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers with salsa roja as the dressing or even just a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and fresh ground peppercorns.
Either hot or cold liquids, depending on the weather, are a welcome accompaniment.