Usually when I make this one, I use fresh green chile peppers (New Mexico, Anaheim, and Hatch chiles are good choices). Using tongs, they’re roasted over an open flame, turning them over and over until the skin bubbles up and blackens. Then they are peeled, sliced open, and seeds removed, then diced. (Recommended: wear gloves when peeling and dicing.) Three or four large chile peppers is about right. You can also roast them in the oven, or in a pan. I didn’t feel like doing all that today, so I took an acceptable shortcut.
Green Chiles: Three 4-ounce cans of diced green chiles.
Black Beans: Two 16-ounce cans. A good alternative is using red kidney beans instead of black beans.
Ground Beef: 16 ounces (one pound) of whatever ground beef you like.
Onion: This one was slightly larger than a softball, and only half was used.
Lemon Juice: I used the bottled stuff because I didn’t feel like squeezing today.
Vegetables: White Rose, or russet potatoes, carrots, and celery
Tomatoes: Roma tomatoes. Get the largest, and firmest ones.
Garlic: When you are shopping, smell a few of the garlic heads, and get the one with the strongest aroma.
Salt: Coarse kosher salt.
Other herbs and spices: Black pepper, cumin, coriander, and oregano; paprika and and parsley
Toppings (optional): Jack cheese, Parmesan cheese, scallions, fresh cilantro
For the most part, I slice and cut as I go. However, there are a few things that are prepared before the stove is turned on, because of timing. Pour your black beans into a large strainer, and rinse with cold water until the water coming out of the bottom of the strainer is mostly clear. Set ’em aside.
Peel and dice four large garlic cloves. Set ’em aside. Peel and chop your onion. Set ‘em aside.
Open all three cans of diced green chiles. Set ’em aside.
Lay down a sheet of foil, put your ground beef in the center, then flatten it out. sprinkle black pepper, cumin, and coriander over the entire top of your beef.
Put enough dried oregano leaves to fit in the palm of your hand. pick up oregano leaves with your thumb and first two fingers, pinching and rolling as you sprinkle them evenly on the beef, until your hand is empty. (Oregano is not in the photo.)
Fold your spiced beef over a couple times. it should be shaped kind of like a burrito. Then grab a hold of the beef and squeeze it between your fingers, fold it, turn it over, squeeze and repeat until your spices are evenly mixed. Then wash your hands.
Pour just a little olive oil into the bottom of your pot, and heat on low. After a couple of minutes, add your garlic, stir until the garlic is coated with oil. Keep an eye on it, stirring intermittently. You do not want to toast the garlic to brown.
You just want to release the aroma. This takes about two to three minutes.
Add your ground beef, breaking it up, and turning it, repeatedly until it is browned. Then add your beans, and diced green chiles, and mix everything up very well. Then add enough hot water to come about an inch from the top of the pot. When it just starts to boil, bring it down to a very slow simmer. Then add enough dried parsley flakes to fit in the palm of your hand, a level teaspoon of paprika, and a heaping teaspoon of coarse kosher salt, and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Stir, then add the chopped onion. Let it simmer for two hours, stirring intermittently.
After the two hours have passed, it’s time to add vegetables. How many of each depends on the size. If you buy carrots individually, you can get them all close to the same size.
Same with your potatoes. The plate they are shown on is a standard size dinner plate. The carrots here are three on the smaller side, and the potatoes are two on the larger side, and two pieces of celery. The plate they are shown on is a standard size dinner plate. This will give you an idea about how much, and what size to cut them.
Cut the carrots first, and put them into the pot, then the potatoes, (leave the skin on) then the celery. Simmer on very low another two hours, stirring intermittently. Some might use a Crockpot for this recipe.
Periodically, you’ll need to add water to the pot. Keep a large spoon, and a bowl handy. Throughout the cooking time, as you see light colored patches, almost foamy on the top. Skim them off the top with the large spoon. Do that as many times as you need to. You don’t have to get all of it, but you want to get most of it. It is the fat, and oils. I did this a few times with this batch.
After the two hours have passed, dice three or four Roma tomatoes, add them to the pot. Your stew will be ready to serve in an hour. It can go longer, just don’t let dry out.
This stew is great just as it is. However, once it is in your bowl, you can top with grated Jack cheese, or fresh cilantro, and green onion, or Parmesan cheese, or anything else you might like. Have fun with it.
This is another dish that is a bit spicy, but becomes tamer after sitting in the refrigerator overnight. I tend to like more salt that a lot folks, so I went very light on the salt when making this batch. You may want to add salt after it is done, and you have tasted it. It is great as a stand alone meal, or go can serve it with cornbread, tortilla chips, or quesadillas on the side.