Monday, December 3, 2012

Hearty Beef Stew With Roasted Poblano Peppers


Over the weekend, I was given the wonderful opportunity to meet Paul Schwennesen, a local rancher from Double Check Ranch, at the farmer’s market in Downtown Phoenix.  I had heard that he was looking to hire someone to help sell his exquisite, pasture-raised, “beyond organic” meats at the farmer’s market, and took immediate interest.  After contacting Paul, I eagerly agreed to meet him at the market on Saturday morning and ended up
spending the day learning the ropes as “the newbie.”  I was immediately welcome with open arms, and by the end of the day, I had already felt like a member of the team.  In addition to their friendliness, I was greatly impressed by their devotion to sustainable and humane methods of meat production.  So, in essence, this recipe is a tribute to wholesome, grass-fed meat, those who produce it, and everything they stand for.  


Hearty Beef Stew with Roasted Poblano Peppers

Ingredients:
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ Tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bunch of radishes, quartered
  • 1 package mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro (reserve a few tablespoons for garnish)
  • 3-4 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • sliced avocado

Directions:

1. Place the cubed meat in a gallon-sized plastic bag along with the chili powder, chipotle powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cumin, and red pepper flakes.  Shake the bag to coat the meat, and place in the refrigerator over night.

2. When ready to make the stew, broil the poblanos on low in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, rotating them a quarter turn every 2-3 minutes until the skins are blackened.  Place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside for 15-20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large sautée pan, and brown the meat in batches.  Remove the meat and set it aside, then add the onion to the same pan and sautée for a few minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Add about ½ cup of the broth and simmer for a minute or two to deglaze the pan.

4. Add the onion, garlic and broth mixture to a large pot set over medium-low heat along with the meat, the rest of the broth, tomatoes, mushrooms, and radishes.  Then, remove the skin, stems, and seeds from the poblanos, and roughly chop them.  Add them to the pot, and bring the stew to a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about an hour to an hour and a half.  Stir in the chopped cilantro and heavy cream just before serving.  Top with sliced avocado and extra cilantro (and shredded cheese, if desired).


Grass-fed beef tends to be preferred among the Primal/Paleo community.  What are your thoughts on grass-fed versus conventionally raised cattle? Leave any questions, comments, or points of debate below.