I realize that this recipe does not exactly scream spring, but I think every season has room for a good comfort food recipe – especially with a twist. This recipe began as something completely different, but as I started gathering ingredients from the cupboard, a new concoction emerged in my head. My husband often tells me these “improvisational recipes” are his favorite, so I ran with it. What I ended up with was a bold and spicy twist on beef stew. The tomatoes, chipotle peppers and currants combined create new flavors and surprises for the palate, while the rich red sauce perfectly compliments the tender medallions of meat. The combination of the meat and sauce create a rich, deep red color that looks fantastic! I served this dish on a bed of brown rice and with a side salad to add additional texture and color.
I am bringing this delicious beef stew over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday this week!
Stewed Beef with Tomatoes, Chipotle Peppers and Currants
- 2 1/2 -3 lb beef stew meat like beef chuck, fat trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks for stewing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed from skins
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 onions, chopped
- 2 -3 chipotle peppers in Adobe sauce , chopped (or to your taste; remember you can always add more later!)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- Pinch ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 1/3 cup dried currants (zante currants)
- Small piece cinnamon stick
- 1 large lime, juiced
- 2 cups low sodium chicken stock or beef stock
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar to balance the flavor
- Handful fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)
- Serving suggestions: rice and sliced fresh jalapeno peppers
- Pat the meat dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat a large Dutch oven with the oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches and remove to a plate. Add more oil, as necessary.
- Add the garlic, carrots, bay leaves, onions, chipotle peppers, cumin, oregano, cloves and some salt and pepper. Cook partially covered for a few minutes.
- Add worcestershire sauce along with the cinnamon stick, lime juice, stock, tomatoes, currants and pinch of sugar. Return beef to the Dutch oven. Stir, cover and cook over low heat 2 1/2 to 3 hours until very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Stir in fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro and fresh mint if desired. Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Serve with rice and sliced fresh jalapenos.