Over the holidays, and since, we’ve been making big pots of soup when we weren’t finishing off the leftovers. Colds, strep throat, and the need for lighter fare after all the heavy meals were the instigators, but the weather contributed… Today, the sun came out to melt the snow–
and it was time for something else: real cooking in the oven maybe? Two big pot roasts called my name at the store the other day, and one of them simply jumped into the Dutch oven cut up with a big bunch of cooked green chiles and onions. Sounded incredibly homey–a beef and green chile braise kept coming to mind (rather than chili, per se)–but I also decided to whip up a pot of cheddar mashed potatoes to keep it company. A side of barely tender green beans, stirred up with just the teensiest bit of butter rounded out the meal.
Dave’s on the road (he’ll have his share Friday night), but Sean and I each had a lovely bowl of this goodness and, when we did, we happened to look out the big, low window in the sun room that’s becoming my dining room only to meet eyes with a great big, muscular bobcat (lynx.) Living in Colorado has its beautiful moments. And other things. The dogs said zip. Scaredy cats. Which was good; they were staying inside.
green chile beef with cheddar mashed potatoes serves 6
Big chunks of slow-cooking pot roast braised with cooked green chiles, lots of onions and garlic, and just a small dose of chopped tomatoes with white wine. You could serve this over brown rice, but try the cheddar mashed this time and see what you think. Top with something fresh and green like cilantro or avocado.
Medium-hot. Switch out half the chiles for more tomatoes if you like food less spicy.
BEEF–about 3 hours total for prep and cooking (somewhat less at sea level)
- 3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed, and cut into 1 1/2 – 2-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Crushed red pepper
- 2 large onions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup cooked and diced green chiles (I used half a 16-ounce jar of 505 Green Chiles)
- 15-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 ripe avocados, chopped, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, optional garnish (See note below potato recipe if serving meat over potatoes)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place rack in the center.
1. In a large bowl, toss the beef chunks with the flour and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
2. Heat oil and crushed red pepper in a heavy Dutch oven (6-quart) over medium-high heat for 20 seconds and add half of the beef pieces. Brown well on both sides and remove to a plate. Repeat with the remainder of the beef, adding the onions and the garlic with this batch. Sprinkle onions and garlic with a bit of salt and pepper and stir back in the first batch of beef.
3. Let heat well together and pour in 1/2 cup white wine, stirring, to pull up the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Cook for two minutes or so to let wine reduce.
4. Pour in chiles, tomatoes, and water. Sprinkle with the oregano and stir well. Cover and place pot in the oven. Braise for about 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender, checking half-way through to make sure beef isn’t drying out. (Add a little water if sauce is too thick or dry.) Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Skim fat off the top of the sauce and beef.
5. Serve hot snuggled up to — or over –hot cheddar mashed potatoes (recipe below), garnished with chopped cilantro and/or avocado.
Cook’s Note: I made this in the oven, but I think it would probably do well in the slow cooker, too. Do brown the beef and onions before adding them to the slow cooker if you try it. Cut the water in half. I would probably let this cook on low for 6-8 hours. If the sauce is too thin when the meat is tender, you could spoon it out into a small saucepan and let it cook a few minutes until thickened–then return it to the slow cooker and stir. Let me know if you try the slow cooker version.
CHEDDAR MASHED POTATOES Serves 6
- 6 large white, very well-scrubbed potatoes (about 3 pounds), cut into eighths**
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black or white pepper
- 1 tablespoon softened salted butter
- 1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese (I like Vermont–Cabot– or English Cheddar–a white cheese, if you can), plus a little extra for garnish
- 1/2 -3/4 cup hot milk
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions (just greens is fine, but both the greens and white will work) or chives — See note below if serving meat over potatoes.
1. Place potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt with 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 6-quart pot and cover with water–plus an inch or so. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are just tender.
2. Drain and put potatoes back in the hot pan with the butter and the cheese. Mash well and then stir in about half -cup of the milk. Mash again, adding more milk if needed, until potatoes are moistened and tender. Taste, adjust seasonings, and spoon into a bowl. Garnish with green onions or chives, if using, and a little of the grated cheddar.
**I don’t peel these, but you’re welcome to if you’d like. I like the texture of hand-mashed and unpeeled potatoes and am all over that fiber.
Cook’s Serving Notes: If you choose to serve the beef over the potatoes, you could skip the cilantro and garnish both the beef and the potatoes with the green onions or chives, as well as the avocado. OR: Use JUST cilantro, as did I. As an old teacher of mine would say, “Do as you please:” ¡Haz lo que quieras!-en Español.
WINE or BEER: Syrah–a nice, come-to-mama-you-little-pretty that doesn’t break the bank (California). If not that, try a beer like a medium-sweet stout or a citrus wheat. Beer pairing by brewer and son Sean Morgan.
Sing a new song,