Mexican Mystery Meal

Last night I took an unlabeled piece of meat out of the freezer with the intention of using it for dinner tonight when it had thawed and I could figure out what it was. Turns out it was slice of beef eye round, a nice lean cut. Then I discovered some left-over tomatillo-jalapeño salsa lurking in the bottom of the fridge. Add a couple potatoes to stretch the meat, a bit of corn, some frozen lamb stock that needed to be used up, and voila: Mexican Mystery Meal.


½ pound beef, eye round or pretty much any other cut

2 medium, about 1 pound, firm white or yellow potatoes scrubbed or peeled and diced

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed and coarsely chopped

1 small red bell or Anaheim pepper, seeded and diced

Cooking oil

1 cup, about 12 ounces, corn kernels cut from the cob or frozen

1 cup tomatillo-jalapeño salsa[i]

1 cup beef or lamb stock, optional

Masa harina or fine cornmeal as needed to thicken


Cut the meat into ⅜-inch dice. Heat about 1 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and brown the meat for about 5 minutes. Do not be tempted to cut this step short, thorough browning is needed to bring out the flavor of the meat.  Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium-low and, if needed, add a bit more oil to the pan. Add the onions and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Pour in the stock and deglaze the pan scrapping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Add the potatoes, reserved meat, and corn. Stir in the salsa. Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are done and the meat is tender, about 30 minutes.

When done, mix about a tablespoon of masa with cold water and stir into the pot. Turn the heat up a bit and let come to a boil to thicken.  Serve alone or over plain white rice with the usual chili accompaniments such as grated cheese, sour cream, or finely chopped onions.  

[i]  See my post for August 25 for the recipe


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