(Caldillo Duangueno) Beef Stew from Durango
This recipe is credited to Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz, and the book is
“The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking”. The book is very worn out, and I have not changed a bit of this recipe (which is unusual for me, as I normally take 4-5 recipes, read them, add my own ideas and create my own version. This wasn’t needed in this case. My family loves it, and it is a warm, comforting dish that is fairly easy to make.
I have some explanations of how to prepare and use some of these ingredients. First off, use the lard—it cannot be substituted for the flavor in the recipe. Splurge if you don’t normally use it, but use it in the recipe. Trust me.
Prepared chilies—are now found in most grocery stores in the ethnic section. If you grow them (which I do, but they are not always in season, and the prepared ones are wonderful). There are two types used in this recipe.
Ancho (dried) peppers are also known as poblanos (fresh), so if you see either, they are the same pepper. Mulato is the other type, which is sweeter and softer. I buy a bag of each in the store, and they last a while. If you can only find the anchos, use double. It is all good. These are very mild peppers, and there is very little heat in this recipe.
Ok. Let’s prepare the chilies. They are dehydrated, so they EXPAND. Put them in a huge bowl, and pour boiling water over them. Prick with a fork, and allow to rehydrate. They will look like fresh peppers again.
Beef stock-always great to have fresh. However, if you don’t, use Knorr beef bouillon cubes versus anything else, as it actually tastes like beef stock.
Lean stewing beef—but into bite size pieces, and trim fat. Ok..we are ready!
3 ancho chilies
3 mulato chilies
3 TBSN lard
3 Lbs. lean stewing beef, cut into ½” cubes
I large Vidalia onion chopped
2 cloves garlic (although more won’t hurt)
1 large can Italian plum tomatoes (or fresh Roma tomatoes deseeded and skinned)
2 cups beef stock
½ tsp. oregano (fresh is bestJ)
Prepare the chilies. Reserve ½ cup of the seeds. Heat lard and sauté the beef until close to rare. Set aside. Reserve remaining fat, and cook onions, and garlic in it. Add tomatoes.
Put prepared chilies and seeds in blender and blend to a smooth paste.
Combine everything in large pot, and simmer (do not boil or you will toughen the meat) for about 2 hours. Before it is done, add a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve with tortillas that are tossed in a fry pan for about a minute.