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
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.
See my post for August 25 for the recipe