Poblano beef stew?
I am a stew novice, but I have some fresh poblano peppers and I was thinking of making a beef stew with the peppers, tomatoes, and maybe portobello mushrooms and potatoes. I haven't been able to find a recipe -- any advice for how I could combine these ingredients? I was thinking about roasting the peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms, and then simmering them with the beef and maybe some broth and canned tomatoes. Do you think this would work? Thanks!
When I think poblano I think pork and hominy, but regardless definitely roast them to get rid of the bitter skin. A few minutes under a broiler and sweated in a plastic bag will do the trick.
Be wary of how hot they can be, I have found that not all poblanos are equal and some can be downright fierce; test them after roasting before you add them to the stew.
This is how i would make this type of stew:
roast the peppers until well blackened, sweat, skin, and then chop them into 1 inch pieces.
Instead of using portebello mushrooms, I would use the baby portebellos. I think they've got more flavor and you don't have to chop them up. Just give them a quick rinse under cold water to get rid of grit, pop off the stems and set them aside.
Scrub up a pound of baby new potatoes (either red or white, doesn't matter). These are the best potatoes for stews and braises. If any are larger than 1 1/2 inches in diameter, then cut those in half.
Smash and peel 6 cloves of garlic. Remove the green germ if they've sprouted (it tastes bitter).
Rinse and chop into 1 inch pieces two stalks of celery. Chop into small pieces 1 large white onion.
Open up one 16 oz. can (or whatever size the large one is) of Muir Glen's fire roasted crushed tomatoes (or two of the smaller 12 oz. cans).
Prep 1 1/2 lbs of beef stew meat by patting it dry with paper towls, seasoning it salt and pepper and tossing it with a little bit of flour to coat lightly.
You will also need: 1/2 c. dry red wine, 2 bay leaves, about 1 to 1 1/2 quarts of water, and about 1 tsp of ground cumin.
In a large, heavy skillet (either cast iron or stainless steel). Brown up the stew meat over high heat in a couple tablespoons of veggie oil. Remove when browned and remove all but 2 tbs of the remaining fat. Add the chopped onion to the hot fat and cook until well browned. Add the celery, cumin, garlic, and pinch of salt and cook until fragrant (about 2 min.). Deglaze the pan with red wine and add this mixture to either an oven safe stewing vessel or a 5qt crock pot (I would use the crock pot). Add the beef, poblano peppers, mushrooms, potatoes, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, and water to the pot (add just enough water to cover everything by about 1 1/2 to 2 inches). Season with salt and pepper. Set the crock pot on high heat and leave it on high until the stew begins to bubble, then switch to low. If using the oven, set the oven 325 degrees and cook tightly covered for about 3 hours-4 hours, until the beef is fork tender. Check the stew a couple times to see if a bit more water needs to be added, you don't want it to get too dry.
If you would like to beef up the beefieness of the stew (I don't recommend using canned or boxed beef broths, I don't like the flavor of them at all), you can add a couple of beef neck bones to the stew as it's cooking. Just remove the bones before serving.
Thanks for the tips! Rokzane, I basically used your recipe -- we seared the beef, sauteed onions and mushrooms in the fat, added garlic, spices, and wine and let it sizzle for a few minutes, then added a can of crushed tomatoes, roasted peppers, and water and left it in the Crock Pot in the morning before going to work. It was our first crock pot adventure and it turned out really well -- tender beef, nice burgundy flavor, and the peppers mostly disintegrated into the sauce.
Ha! Funny that I was reading everything before suggesting to 'time' the addition of the Poblano chunks...
This was my first thought from the beginning...
The meat takes a long time to tenderize in a Crock Pot, and other chunkies would melt into the liquid...
Same with onions...
You can add some 'diced' in the beginning for building flavor, then bigger chunks later on for enjoying manly bites of onion 'segments', peppers, and meat...
To do the segments, peel and trim the onion, but don't chop off the root-end... Then cut it into halfs, then quarters...
Saute and carmelize the cut sides, then toss em' in...
Also, I got a cheap handheld propane torch at Home Depot that blackens and blasts the skin off of peppers in a minute...
I stab the Poblanos or Red Bell Peppers with a fork in the stem end and turn it as needed... The fork never gets hot, and it's fun...
I toss them in a bowl with a lid to sweat, and the blackened skin wipes right off...
Poblanos are great!
I'd be tempted to add poblanos to a beef stew in two stages. Some could be added at the start, and allowed to cook down to pulp along with the onions. More could be added near the end, possibly with the potatoes. These would soften but remain intact. Think for example of the various 'rajas' (poblano strips) dishes.
For the early addition, I might use anchos (dried poblanos) instead. Sometimes I'll just put the dried peppers in whole (though seeded), and fish out the skin latter. Or remove them by passing the stock through a food mill.