An unctuous and spicy Mexican stew made with a Mole style sauce. All the great Mexican flavors plus some extra veggies, served with tortilla chips, corn and parsley, for an extra Southern flair.
I was browsing the Web last week and saw lots of stews and Mexican food around… it made me want them both badly… so I’ve decided to merge them both into one nice stew meal; a Mexican Stew. The two are comforting and great dishes for winter times but this stew version is double the comfort; it’s a “French” way stew with the usual; carrot, potato, beef, mini french oignons merged to a spicy Mole style sauce for a Mexican flair; adding Chipotle peppers in Adobo, tomato puree, chocolate, corn and some cinnamon, cumin and coriander powder. Result: Fantastic!
The mole sauce is a thick spicy Mexican sauce made with chocolate and lots of hot peppers. Since my maximal tolerance toward “spicy” is at medium-hot, well I’ve aimed at medium-hot for this dish but feel free to add a chipotle or two more if you like it “hot”. Those chipotle peppers aren’t the spiciest of hot peppers with only 3000 SHU / 10000 SHU on the Scoville scale, so… not too hot. Plus, they come in an adobo marinade which is a tomato, garlic and spices paste, fitting perfectly with the stew. The Chipotle peppers are actually a type of jalapeno which got smoked then dried before being canned in the adobo. In other words, the stew will get this welcomed light smoky touch to it.
The Chocolate factor
This isn’t a joke, unsweetened chocolate is just the best friend of any stew. First, because it’s a thickener, all natural, no need for that extra flour in the beginning or corn starch to thickens the sauce the chocolate does wonders for stews. Second, it gives the sauce this deep rich brown color which makes it just irresistible. Third, dark chocolate is filled with health benefits; lower the bad cholesterol, may be lowering blood pressure, great source of antioxidants, protect the skin from the sun, cut hunger, contains lots of fibres, iron, magnesium, etc. Let just say it’s great news for our health. This Mexican stew doesn’t contain more than 50g of dark chocolate, although it looks like it contains lots because of it’s thick consistency. It’s actually half a normal bar of dark chocolate, no more and no worries the flavor is really subtle.
The toppings are totally up to you, I wanted to make it extra Mexican looking so I’ve added some corn grains, tortilla chips, parsley. Those are all optional of course. Also, I’ve done the potatoes on the side but some people might prefer being serve this dish with rice, which is usually the side dish to mole dishes in Mexico. So it’s all up to you!
Let’s make this unctuous and spicy Mexican stew!
Makes 6 portions | Preparation: 2 hours | Difficulty: easy
- 500g of beef in 4 cm cubes
- 500ml of beef broth
- 4 chipotle pepper in adobo (6 for ‘extra’ hot)
- 1 tbsp of the adobo paste (from the can above)
- 400g tomato paste/purée
- 3 carrots cut into dices
- 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
- 8 mini french onion (or 2 onions)
- 1 tbsp of worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp of cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
- 50g of dark chocolate (better unsweetened)
- olive oil or butter
- salt and pepper
- tortilla chips
- corn grains
- Start by browning the cubes of meat, add salt and pepper to the meat then in the pot used for making the stew, high heat, brown each side of the meat cubes in olive oil or butter
- Add the carrot, mini onions, garlic, and cook a minute or two before adding the beef broth and scratch the bottom bits leftover by the meat
- Bring it to a strong simmer
- During that time in a blender, blend the chipotle pepper with the abodo paste it comes in and the tomato puree/paste
- Add the blended chipotles to the stew with the spices (cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt and pepper), the worcestershire sauce
- Let it simmer slowly, half covered for 1h30
- In the end, add the chocolate and check the seasonning
- Serve with a few corn grains, potatoes, parsley and tortilla chips