If you’re ready to change up your regular beef stew recipe, consider this version with a Southwestern flavor profile. It is hearty, full of flavor and delicious.
Blend the Southwestern seasoning first. The full amount will keep in a tightly covered container for months. You will use 2 teaspoons in this recipe. Save the rest to use as a rub on roasts or steaks, or sprinkled on burgers.
• 5 tablespoons iodized salt
• 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
• 2 tablespoons fine black pepper
• 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
• 3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
• 3/4 tablespoon dried oregano
• 2 tablespoons paprika
• 1 tablespoon onion powder
• 1/2 tablespoon dried basil
• 1/2 tablespoon cumin
• 2 teaspoons coriander
• 2 tablespoons chili powder
• 1/2 tablespoon dry mustard
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container.
Now that the seasoning blend is ready, it’s time to make the stew.
SOUTHWESTERN BEEF & VEGETABLE STEW
• 2 lb. rump roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
• 1/2 cup flour
• 2 teaspoons Southwest seasoning
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 3 cups beef stock
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
• 2 teaspoons minced garlic
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 can Rotel tomatoes (lime and cilantro flavor)
• 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 can Mexicorn, drained
• 1 can white hominy, drained (you may substitute white shoepeg corn)
• 2 large carrots, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• Juice and zest of one lime
• Chopped cilantro (optional)
Mix flour and 2 teaspoons of the Southwestern seasoning in a small bowl. Place cubed beef in a large bowl and sprinkle in flour mixture and, using tongs, toss to coat.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Brown cubed beef in batches. It does not need to be cooked through, but you want a deep browned color to the meat. Set aside on a plate.
When all the beef has browned, add the chopped onions and let them cook just until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste to the pot and, constantly stirring, cook for an additional 2 minutes. The tomato paste adds a tremendous flavor due to the concentration of the tomatoes.
Deglaze Dutch oven with beef stock and scrape up all the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. There’s a great deal of flavor in those browned bits.
Add the reserved beef and remaining ingredients (except for lime juice and zest) back to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer for an hour or so, until carrots are tender and stew has thickened slightly. Stir occasionally while it simmers so that the stew doesn’t stick.
Just before serving, discard bay leaf, stir in lime juice and top each serving with lime zest. You can add some cilantro if you choose.
Of course, you’ll need some warm bread to go alongside your beef stew! A friend gave me this recipe years ago. A bonus is that you can refrigerate the unused batter for up to 3 days and bake another batch of rolls later in the week. This recipe will make 18 to 24 rolls.
EASY YEAST ROLLS
• 1 pkg. dry yeast
• 2 cups warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 4 cups self-rising flour
• 3/4 cup oil
Suggested toppings: grated cheese, a sprinkling of chili powder, dried dill, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, Italian seasoning and parsley
Mix yeast, warm water and sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Add egg, mixing with a whisk. Add flour, mixing well. Blend in oil. (Batter will be thin!)
Spoon batter into greased muffin tins 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with toppings if desired and return to oven. Bake 3 to 7 minutes longer. Refrigerate unused batter. Stir well each time batter is used.
-- Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. You can contact her at facebook.com/fleurde.lolly.5, on Instagram, and email@example.com.