From Rancho Cooking by Jacqueline Higuera McMahan
pounds beef roast, chuck, rump, or shoulder clod
1 tablespoon pure olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups beef stock or water
2 cups Red Chile Sauce (below)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted and crushed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 to 2 tablespoons New Mexican chile powder (optional)
3 tablespoons masa harina flour
1/4 cup water
1 cup black olives, for garnish
1/4 cup minced cilantro, for garnish
Tortillas, for dunking
Cut the meat into 2-inch chunks and dry well with paper towels. Heat the oil in a heavy pot with a lid over medium heat, and brown the meat on all sides in small batches. Remove the meat chunks as they brown.
Uing the same pot, saute the onions until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Blend the garlic and salt together and stir into the onions. Add the browned meat and the collected juices. Add the beef stock. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 1-1/2 hours.
Drain off all but 1 cup of broth from the pot. Use this extra broth to make a sopa the next day. To the remaining broth and meat in the pot, add the Red Chile Sauce, cumin, oregano, and chile powder if you want the stew to be really picante. Simmer on low heat for 1 hour more. The chile will penetrate the meat. Taste for seasoning and add more salt or spices, if needed.
Blend the masa harina into the water and blend into the stew to thicken it. Simmer for 5 minutes. Just before serving, add the olives and cilantro. Serve in big bowls accompanied by plenty of tortillas for dunking.
Serves 6 to 8
Homemade Chili Puree
Instructions: You'll need 8 dried California (mild) or New Mexican (hot) chiles. Rinse the chiles, then break in half. Place in a large bowl and pour in boiling water to cover. Cover and let steep for 1 hour, pushing the chiles down into the water from time to time. When the chiles have softened, remove them from the soaking water. Remove the stems and some of the seeds. Place the chiles and remaining seeds (the exact number is up to you) in a blender, add 1 cup water (use the soaking water if it isn't bitter) and process until completely smooth.
Yields about 2-1/2 cups chile puree depending on size of chiles
[Note: You can make a big batch of this and save it into two cup portions in the freezer. Then you'll be ready to make this when you want it now! JB]