It's been raining all day here in here in New York City and even though it's August, I still craved a warming stew. The store-bought beef stock is gucci'd up with cilantro, tomatillos, serrano and red bell peppers, onions, and garlic. The vegetables are separated from the liquid and puréed before being added back to the soup to create a luxuriously thick, flavorful, spicy broth.
Skill Level: Easy
Time to Make: 2 hours 30 minutes (2 hours inactive)
2 pounds chuck roast
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 red bell peppers
1 yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2-3 serrano peppers
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus a few leaves for garnish
7 cups beef stock, homemade or store-bought
2 cans pinto beans
2 radishes for garnish
Cotija cheese for garnish
Prep Ingredients: Cube the beef, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper. Leave out at room temperature as you prep the rest of the ingredients. Cut the red bell pepper into medium pieces, quarter the onion, peel and lightly smash the garlic cloves, halve the serrano peppers and remove the seeds. Remove the husks from the tomatillos and rinse and then halve them. Drain and rinse the pinto beans. Rinse the scallions and trim the tops.
Brown the Beef: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot. Add the beef cubes in batches (being sure not to overcrowd the pot), cooking for 2-4 minutes per side or until the beef is browned all over. Transfer the browned beef to a bowl, leaving the skillet over medium heat.
Start the Broth: Add the beef stock to the pot, scraping up any browned bits at the bottom of the pot. Add the red bell peppers, quartered onion, garlic cloves, serrano peppers, tomatillos, and the fresh cilantro (leaves and stems). Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot, and cook for 40 minutes until the vegetables are very soft.
Drain the broth through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl. Use the back of a spoon to lightly mash the vegetables against the sieve to ensure that most of the liquid has strained through.
Transfer the broth back to the pot over low heat.
Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add two tablespoons of brown sugar and continue pulsing until dissolved. Stir the purée into the broth in the pot. Add the browned beef to the pot and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat until the broth has reduced a bit. Cover and cook for at least an hour or until the beef is very tender. Remove the top and stir in the beans and cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes or until the broth has reduced a bit.
Prepare the Scallions and Garnishes: Right before serving, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat until very hot and shimmering. Add the scallions and cook for 45 seconds on each side or until slightly charred and browned and softened, but not burnt. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a bit of salt.
Thinly slice the radishes and crumble up cotija cheese for serving. Pick a few cilantro leaves from the stems.
To Serve: Divide stew between bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves, sliced radishes, and the charred scallions. Sprinkle the crumbled cotija cheese on top. Enjoy!
Designer and photographer living in NYC. I work as a design manager in ed tech and I make tasty recipes in my spare time!