San Blas Atempa's fiesta beef stew: Guisado de res de San Blas Atempa
This beef stew, the main course of our cooking class's feast, is from the Tehuantepec region, and is characterized by the combination of sweet and savory flavors. A good beef stock, which the students in charge of this dish prepared, is essential.
Seasoning ingredients for beef stock
- 1 pound beef ribs
- 2 pounds boneless stewing beef
- 10 chiles guajillos, stemmed, seeded and deveined
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 piece of Mexican cinnamon, 1 inch long
- 1/2 head of garlic, cloves separated
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1 pound tomatoes (2 medium-large round or 8-10 plum) halved and sliced
- 2 cups halved and sliced onions
- 1 bunch green onions, sliced with greens
- 1 1/2 cups chunked pineapple
- 1 ripe plantain (about 3/4 pound) sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 apple, cut in 1/2 inch chunks (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
- 2 tablespoons capers, chopped if they are large
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 4 tablespoons chiles jalapeños en escabeche, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
In a large 6-quart stockpot, bring 10 cups of water and the stock seasonings to a boil. Once boiling, add meat and return to a boil. Skim off the foam that appears on the surface, and discard. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat and set aside. Strain and reserve the stock.
In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Soak the chiles guajillos for 10 minutes or until soft.
Place the chiles, thyme, peppercorns, cinnamon and garlic in a blender and puree until smooth. Pass this mixture through a food mill or a sieve.
In the 6-quart stockpot, heat the oil until smoking and fry the chile paste until well-seasoned, about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, onions and green onions. Fry for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add 6 cups of the reserved stock and the meat. Add the pineapple, plantain, apple, olives, capers, raisins and chiles jalapeños. Simmer for another 1/2 hour, then add the salt or more to taste. Serve with soft corn tortillas or to totopos.
Getting to the heart of Oaxacan cuisine: A cooking class with Susanna Trilling