Yesterday I decided to make a beef stew, which turned out as a form of carne guisada.
1.5 lbs beef stew meat in ~ 3/4″ cubes. (You could use pork, lamb, goat, venison, or elk here)
1/2 cup ~ chorizo (if dried Spanish.. chop it up, if Mexican, w/o casing) I used Chorizo Seco from El Torito #2 in KCKS.
1 tbs olive oil (or bacon drippings or canola oil)
2 medium yellow onions chopped 1/2″
3 shallots sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic (chopped, crushed, whatever..)
1 red bell pepper chopped roughly
1 green bell pepper chopped roughly
6-8 tomatillos, husked & quartered
1 cup chopped carrots
3-4 small russet potatoes cut into 8ths.
2 corn tortillas torn to bits (these are for both flavor and thickening)
1 tsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp epazote
2 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tbs chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp Penzey’s Bonnes Herbes Parisienne (the end of a jar of this stuff I had)
1 tsp ground chile ancho
1/2 tsp chile caribe or crushed red pepper
1 tsp minced chile serrano (I could add more chile, but my mother-in-law eats with us)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 bottle of beer
stock to cover (I used chicken stock this time)
salt to taste
Heat oil in large stewpot. Brown/render chorizo on low heat. Add beef and brown slowly.. when partially browned, add onions, shallots, garlic, epazote, mexican oregano, bay leaf, cumin and chiles. Stir regularly. As the onions finish, add bell peppers and have them soften. Add tomatillos, tomato paste, carrots, and potatoes. Add beer and stock as needed. (You could be hoity-toity and use white wine. But you don’t have to.)
Bring to a low boil, add torn-up corn tortillas, and cilantro, stir, and lower to a simmer, cover and let cook for at least two hours.
My wife’s job is moving to Kansas, 25 miles away. So we are moving to be only 2 miles from her work, rather than 25. We tried to find a place in Missouri without many steps and on the first floor since we have her mum with and she uses a walker. Hello Overland Park/Leawood!
I will at least be able to walk to the grocery store. In this area, there are two Whole Paychecks within 3 miles of each other. The closest one caters to rich hippies (more schnozz jewelery and lurid tattoos); they other is a haven for soccer moms who seem to be mainly tall Skandahoovian women. There is also a Dean & DeLuca, which is even more insanely expensive than Whole Paycheck. Hen House, a local chain, is more reasonable, and even has a whole kosher butcher shop and a wider selection of fresh sea food than the others I have mentioned.
There are also S. Asian greengrocers and halal butcher shops in the area. Olathe or KCKS is where I shall go to get my ingredients for comida mejicana.
“Who would believe they would freak out in Kansas, Suzy Creamcheese…” Frank Zappa.
I was pleasantly surprised yesterday when I picked up a half dozen tamales for our lunch at Carniceria Camecuaro. I was expecting them to be in hojas de maiz (corn husks), but they were wrapped in banana leaves. These turned out to be estilo salvadoreño and were full of chicken & vegetables. Sort of like a chicken pot pie, but better.
Here’s a series of photos of one of these tamales.
The vegetables included corn, potato, carrots, & poblano chile. The banana leaf wrapper adds a different flavor to the tamale; it’s more earthy than the regular hoja de maiz wrapper.
This one has wonderful adobado and al pastor tacos. The fish tacos are great, too. And they have carne machacada! I still haven’t had their pozole or menudo which are said to be some of the best in Kansas City.
They make their tortillas by hand and the people there are most pleasant. We like the signage.
It’s across Independence from the new (and spiffy) El Torito Market.
Boy howdy! I’ve been seeing how easy it is to procure tamale-making materials and hardware here in Kansas City. The tiendas and carnicerias in the barrio where I live have several models of tamale steamers for sale. Here’s the bucket version, which probably works well on a cajun Cooker.
Of course, there are several options for masa, from the Maseca & Masa Harina commercial brands and the stores sell five-pound plastic bags of fresh tamale masa.
And the hojas de maiz are readily available nearly everywhere. I was at the big Asian supermarket downtown a few days before Christmas and Latinas were buying scads of packaged frozen banana leaves “para tamales de Navidad”. Just down the aisle I found a display of baluts (a Filipino bar snack of unborn duck eggs) right next to the durians. Nummers.