Jalapeno Beef Stew

From the excellent cookbook A Cowboy in the Kitchen, author Grady Spears claims "This stew sounds spicier than it really is; once the jalapeños are cooked, they mellow out and give this stew a nice pepper flavor, without a lot of burn."
  • 6 shallots, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons butter, unsalted
  • 1 pound beef chuck, cut into 1-inch squares
  • 1/3 cups flour
  • 4 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 2 cup beef stock (fresh or canned)
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • kosher salt to taste
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°. Toss the shallots with the olive oil, place them in a small pan, and roast them in the oven for 35 minutes, or until they are soft and brown.

Heat the butter in a large, deep saucepan (that has a cover) over medium heat. While the butter is melting, toss the beef cubes with the flour to coat. Place the beef in the hot butter, increase the heat and sauté the beef cubes on all sides for 5 minutes for rare and longer for medium and well done.

Do not crowd the meat or it will steam rather than brown. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the meat to a bowl, cover it loosely with foil to keep it warm, and set it aside.

Mince the jalapeños. The peppers vary in heat, so the amount of peppers may be adjusted accordingly. Place the pan back over medium heat, and, in the remaining butter, sauté the peppers, carrots, potato and onion, tossing to prevent burning until onions turn translucent.

Add the wine, stock, sage, and oregano, gently stirring on the bottom of the pan to release any solidified pan juices. Cook the stew over low heat, with the lid slightly ajar, for 40 minutes. Add the reserved shallots and beef, stir to combine, and continue cooking for another 20 minutes.

Test to see if the meat and vegetables are done. Season with salt and pepper.
Makes 4 servings.

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