Sabrina has a weakness for Mexican food. She also loves a good Rick Bayless recipe, and I can't blame her. It's always good when she makes slow-simmered meat dishes. This chile Colorado delvers all what you expect from the classic, simple preparation that is Chile Colorado. The one new introduction to this recipe, however, is that Sabrina has a new tagine. It's an earthenware cooking vessel with a conical lid, that produces a slow cooker-type dish, on the stove. The traditional tagine preheats over a low flame, but gets rather hot when given some time. Once it gets going, however, it produces a slow-cooked meal unlike any slow cooker. The ability to brown meats, caramelize veggies and develop complex flavors, far exceeds that of the modern slow-cooker. If you're feeling fancy, go pick yourself up a tagine, but please... don't be in a hurry. Slow and low, baby.
Prep the chile base and marinate the chuck:
- 3 lbs chuck roast, cut into 2" chunks
- 2 Tbls worcestershire sauce
- 8 dried chilies, guajillo or pasilla or a mix
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 large shallot, rougly chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 2 cups boiling water
- 3 - 4 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- kosher salt and pepper
Toss the chuck roast cubes in a bowl with the worcestershire sauce. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour.
Meanwhile, de-seed the dried chilies, and toast them in a pan over medium heat. It should only take a couple minutes per side, you want them to toast and get some color. Place toasted chilies in a bowl or shallow pan, and pour boiling water over them. Place a plate or other dish to keep the chilies under the water. Soak the dried chilies for about 45 min.
Strain chilies and reserve liquid. Place chilies in a blender or food processor, along with onion, garlic, shallot, cumin, about 1 cup of reserved chile liquid and oregano, and blend until well pureed. Strain chile puree through a fine mesh sieve, and reserve chile sauce.
Let's brown some meat cubes:
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 3 slices Applewood bacon, large diced
- reserved marinated chuck
- reserved chile sauce
- reserved strained chile liquid
- 2 Tbls EV olive oil, more if needed
Note** When you work with a tagine, it's a slow, but effective method to say the least. The tagine needs to preheat over low heat, but once it's heated up, it actually browns quite well. The best thing Sabrina discovered, was to use the bacon as a thermometer. So, she slowly browns the bacon with a little olive oil, until crisp. This lets her know the tagine is ready, and then brown her meat or vegetables at this point, (about 15 min).
In a tagine, or large dutch oven, cook the bacon with a little olive oil over medium heat, (low heat if using a tagine) until crisp. Remove bacon to a paper towel. Take beef out of the bowl, and dab with paper towels to dry. Season the beef chunks with kosher salt and pepper, and brown in bacon fat until brown on all sides, (about 2 min. per side). Cook in batches if necessary to keep meat from steaming in pan. Reserve browned meat, loosley covered, and add olive oil and chile puree to the tagine or dutch oven. Cook for about 2 - 3 min. Add chicken stock, stir and bring to a simmer. Add reserved browned meat, cover lid partially, most of the way, (If using a tagine, use a folded over piece of aluminum foil to keep the lid ajar as it simmers on the stove top).
Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 2 - 2 1/2 hours until meat is tender. When meat is shreddy-tender, remove meat to degrease. Spoon off excess oil, and place meat back in sauce. Continue to cook while you get ready to serve. Sabrina serves it over Spanish rice with some sliced radishes and cilantro for garnish. Warm tortillas on the side, always good. ; )