Some nights call for a warming chile-infused dinner. I would argue that most nights call for chiles, but there are times when the wind is howling around and all you want to do is curl up in front of the fire with a bowl of something cozy. This is that meal.
Though this chile lacks the chunky tomatos and beans that are found in most recipes, let me assure you that it is as full-bodied as it gets, and the flavors of the dried whole chiles that are added give it a deep earthy and rustic quality. Because the beef and chile are the true stars in this dish, make sure that what you buy is of excellent quality (the beef especially). And here, I'm talking about the cow not the cut, because cheaper chuck works fine...it's preferred even because it cooks for such a long time. Your supermarket will probably carry bags of dried chiles in the Latin section. But if they seem especially dried out (they should still be pliable) you may want to order them online.
Don't forget that tomorrow I'm participating in Share Our Holiday Table. Today's recipes (the Salad Course) are listed below. Have a great day!
December 8: Salads
This authentic Mexican-style chile is different from most because it doesn't contain beans or tomatoes. But it's spicy and delicious and will warm you from the inside out. Because it has so few ingredients, make sure you buy good quality ones, especially the meat. Look for dried chiles in the Latin section of your supermarket--fresh ones will still be pliable. Eat this dish on its own, or use it as a filling for burritos or tamales.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 3 1/2 hours
Yield: serves 6
9 dried whole pasilla or ancho chiles
2 cups boiling water
3 pounds beef chuck cut in cubes
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups low sodium beef or chicken stock
2 teaspoons cumin
1. Pour boiling water over chiles and soak for 30 minutes. Meanwhile put flour, salt and pepper in a large plastic bag. Add beef and shake to coat. Heat about 3 tablespoons of canola oil in a large dutch oven and brown meat in batches (about 4).
2. After chiles have softened, remove the stems and discard and place the chiles in a blender with the garlic and with enough soaking water to purée them into a smooth paste. Strain mixture through a sieve to remove seeds and skin and place in the Dutch oven along with all the beef, cumin and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 3 hours or until beef is tender.
3. Serve with tortillas and rice and beans.