Oaxacan Beef Stew

Yield:
8-10 servings
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds beef brisket, cut into 2-inch strips across the grain
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • Flour for dredging
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 piece shinbone and 1 piece marrow bone
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large head garlic
  • 1 cup dry chick peas, soaked overnight in water to cover
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 9 large fresh mint sprigs
  • 9 large cilantro sprigs
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 small ripe plantains, cut into diagonal slices, unpeeled
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking the vegetables
  • 5 medium carrots, trimmed and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 large chayote, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • 6 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 3 medium zucchini, trimmed and sliced 1/4-inch thick lengthwise
  • 1 medium cabbage, cut into 8 wedges and core trimmed away
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • Salsa Fresca
  • 4 medium ripe tomatoes, cored,seeded, and finely diced
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, leaves only chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Directions

Sprinkle the brisket with the salt, pepper, paprika, and cumin and rub the spices into the slices of meat. Dredge the strips in the flour and shake off the excess. In a large ovenproof casserole, heat the oil over high heat. Sear the meat until browned on all sides, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the bones, onion, and garlic and cook for about 8 minutes, until golden. Strain the chick peas and add their soaking water to the pot. Tie the chickpeas inside a large square of doubled cheesecloth and add them to the pot, then add enough additional water so that the ingredients are covered by 4 inches. Add the salt, mint, and cilantro sprigs, cover the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 45 minutes, then add the strips of brisket and simmer for about 1 hour more, until the meat is tender. Strain, reserving the broth. Discard the bones and aromatic vegetables (if desired, squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the broth). Unwrap the chickpeas and empty them into the broth. Place the meat strips on a platter and sprinkle with the oregano. Cover loosely and keep warm in a low oven. In a small skillet heat the butter over medium heat and saute the plantains for about 15 minutes. While they are cooking, place 1 large and 1 medium heavy skillet over medium heat. Add 5 tablespoons of oil to the large skillet, and 1 tablespoon to the medium skillet. In the large skillet, saute the carrots, chayote, and potatoes for about 20 minutes, until golden, stirring occasionally. In the other saute the zucchini for about 10 minutes. In all pans, regulate the heat so that the vegetables sizzle and brown but do not burn. Keep the finished vegetables warm on a platter covered with foil. Bring the broth back to a simmer and add the cabbage and green beans. Cook for 8 minutes, until the vegetables are almost tender. Add the meat to the broth and heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve in large shallow bowls with plenty of broth and pass the warm vegetables and Salsa Fresca (recipe follows).

In a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir and toss well. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator no more than 1 day. Yield: 2 cups


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