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Ancho-Spiced Beef Stew

Serves 6

Ingredients:

2 lbs. beef chuck shoulder pot roast, cut into 1" pieces
2 ancho chiles, dried
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cans spicy tomatoes, diced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
 
Toppings:
for topping chopped red onion, chopped fresh cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges (optional)

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. 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 1.75 hours.
  3. Add sweet potatoes to stockpot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and continue cooking 25 to 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes and beef are fork-tender, stirring once.
  4. Serve stew with Toppings, as desired.