By Tam McClure
Fall and winter are the perfect time of year for chili and stew. These hardy dishes are great on cold and windy or rainy days to warm you up from the inside out.
Chili is ubiquitous with the brisk fall climate and tailgating during football season.
Stew is a fall and winter food that just about everyone loves because it is so versatile. Don’t like beef? Use chicken. Don’t do meat? Make a vegetable stew. It is pretty flexible based on your tastes.
This recipe combines both chili and stew into one yummy, warm and satisfying bowl.
Ancho Chile-Spiced Beef Stew (with Sweet Potatoes)
Makes 6 servings
2 pounds beef shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 dried ancho chiles
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) spicy diced tomatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-in. pieces
Chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges
Remove and discard stems and seeds from chiles. Pour boiling water over chiles in medium bowl; let stand 20 minutes or until chiles are softened. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid. Place chiles, reserved 1/2 cup liquid, cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon salt in food processor. Cover; process until smooth. Set aside.
Coat beef with cumin. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Brown half of beef; remove from pot. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Drain; return beef to pot. Add tomatoes and chile mixture to pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 1-1/2 hours.
Add sweet potatoes to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and continue cooking 25 to 30 minutes or until beef and potatoes are fork-tender, stirring once.
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Beef Checkoff.