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PUCHERO (MEXICAN POT ROAST)

Heat Scale: Mild

MARINADE:
1 bottle dark beer, preferably Mexican (12 oz.) -- at room temperature
4 small dried red chiles
1-3 garli cloves, sliced
1 3-4 pound beef rump or bottom round roast

BRAISING:
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
1 medium onion -- coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic -- chopped
1 bottle dark beer, preferably Mexican (12-oz.) -- at room temperature
1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 - 6 anaheim, jalapeno and/or serrano chiles -- optional

VEGETABLES: -- optional
2 carrots -- cut in 2" pieces
2 medium boiling potatoes, peeled -- cut in thick wedges
1 large ear of corn, cut in 4 pieces
1 cup fresh or thawed frozen green beans

MARINADE: In a large Ziploc bag or non-reactive bowl, place the beer, dried chiles, garlic and the roast. Seal bag tightly or cover bowl with foil and refrigerate 4-8 hours.

BRAISING: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove the roast from marinade and discard the marinade. Thoroughly dry the roast with paper towels; season liberally on all sides with salt and pepper. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the roast over medium heat on all sides; remove the roast to a plate and drain off all but 2-3 teaspoons of the oil. Saute the onions and garlic in the remaining oil, seasoning with a little salt and pepper to bring out the flavor. Stir in the Ancho chile powder, cumin and oregano. Transfer the roast back into the pot, fat side up; pour the tomato sauce over the roast and then pour the beer over and around the roast until it reaches half-way up the sides of the roast (it isn't necessary to use all of the beer). If using fresh chiles (they give a lot of flavor), stick them down into the braising liquid. Place a large piece of foil directly over the roast to keep the steam in; cover the pot tightly and roast about 2 hours or until meat is tender.

If using the vegetables, add them to the pot about 1 hour prior to the end of roasting time.

Carefully remove the vegetables and the roast to a platter; cover loosely with a foil tent (use the foil from the pot), and let sit about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, strain pan juices into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat; skim off fat if necessary. Boil liquid rapidly to reduce by about one-half. Stir in 2 tablspoons cold butter and sitr until sauce is thickened. Slice the roast across the grain and put onto a platter; surround with vegetables. Drizzle some of the pan sauce over the sliced roast and serve the remaining sauce on the side (for mashed potatoes).

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Copyright 2003 Carol Stevens, Shaboom's Kitchen, All Rights Reserved