So, since I was now going to be home, time for some recipes that are finally okay to heat up the kitchen a bit! It's fall! (Or as close as we get in Cowtown.)
For those of you who don't se habla español - this is lard; not shortening, not oil....animal fat. If you want to be authentic with this recipe, you can't be afraid of fat...or spices. Lard browns meat to perfection.
For this recipe, I use about 4 pounds of stew meat altogether. After dredging in seasoned flour (salt, pepper,and garlic powder), you want to let the meat sit for about 20 minutes and let the flour set well. Then, fry the meat in small batches in about two plus inches of hot sizzling lard. This is the first batch (about one pound) of my fried beef stew chunks. I have a large heavy stainless steel electric skillet with deep sides that is my go-to pan for most anything. .
While the meat is frying, start chopping your vegetables. I use white onion, two bell peppers, two poblano peppers, one jalepeno seeded, and fresh garlic. You can add some fresh cilantro if you like. After chopping and mixing, I squeeze about half of a lime and tossed the veggies together and let sit until all your meat is browned.
Now your ready for your spices. I use a tablespoon (or more) of: coriander, cumin, chili powder and celery salt. I add additional garlic powder. ( I use a lot but not everyone is a fan of lots of garlic.) The bay leaves go in last after all the next steps, by the way. Turn your skillet to 200 or low. Did you know that the coriander plant is where you get cilantro leaves? The spice coriander is made from the plant seeds. Be careful with this spice; some people say it tastes soapy. Either you really like cilantro or you hate it; seldom does it elicit a so-so opinion.
See that little red can "Costena" at the top? La Costeña Seasoned Chipotle Peppers in adobo sauce. This is a small can, and I don't even use a fourth of it. Muy caliente, mi amigo. I only use about one and a half tablespoons of the sauce, and one small finely chopped chipotle pepper. I just toss the rest, because I always forget if I freeze it and I don't cook with it enough to use it up soon enough. A little of this stuff goes a long way, and err to the lesser if you are not sure how spicy you want your guisada. You can always save and add a little more at the end if you need more heat.
Mix all spices together, then sprinkle on your sauteing veggies, then stir in the adobo sauce and chopped chipotle pepper.
Next, pour a bottle of room temperature beer into your skillet of veggies and spices. I prefer Shiner Boch, but I had a Negro Modelo in the house instead.
Finally, toss in three or four bay leaves and stir. Taste for salt - add if needed.
Now, there are three more things I usually add to my guisada. Ancient family secret, huh? And the Bush's baked beans golden retriever, Duke, doesn't even know my secrets!
Let the carne guisada simmer slowly in your electric skillet on the lowest setting. Stir occasionally, until the gravy is just right and the meat melts in your mouth. (You may need to add a bit of water as it cooks if the gravy gets too thick. You want it thick, but not sticky.)
If you want to go true Tex Mex, serve the guisda with warm tortillas, some red beans, and southern fried potatoes and onions. Nope, I use store-bought tortillas; I really have never tried to make my own.
Ya'll come help me eat all this!