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Ancho spiced beef stew

Combining Fall and Winter Favorites
Ancho Chile-Spiced Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes

Volume 6 Issue 1 Spring-Summer 2019
By Tam McClure, Staff Writer
Recipe and photo courtesy of The Beef Checkoff

Fall and winter are the perfect time of year for chili and stew. These hardy dishes are great on cold and windy or rainy days to warm you up from the inside out. Chili is ubiquitous with the brisk fall climate and tailgating during football season. 

Stew is a fall and winter food that just about everyone loves because it is so versatile. Don’t like beef? Use chicken. Don’t do meat? Make a vegetable stew. It is pretty flexible based on your tastes.

This recipe combines both chili and stew into one yummy, warm and satisfying bowl.


2 pounds beef Shoulder Roast Boneless, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 dried ancho chiles
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) spicy diced tomatoes
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 3/4-inch pieces


Chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges (optional)


Remove and discard stems and seeds from chiles. Pour boiling water over chiles in medium bowl; let stand 20 minutes or until chiles are softened. Drain chilies, reserving 1/2 cup of liquid. Place chiles, reserved 1/2 cup liquid, cornmeal and 1/2 teaspoon salt in food processor container. Cover; process until smooth. Set aside.

Coat beef with cumin. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Brown half of beef; remove from stockpot. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Pour off drippings; return beef to stockpot. Add tomatoes and ancho chile mixture to stockpot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 1-1/2 hours.

Add sweet potatoes to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and continue cooking 25 to 30 minutes or until beef and sweet potatoes are fork-tender, stirring once.

Serve stew with Toppings, as desired

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