This is an easy and delicious one-pot meal that can be made ahead and reheated. For a less picante taste, remove the chipotle before blending the cooked ingredients. The weight given for the meat reflects the fact that there is a marrowbone in the center of each piece of shank. The comadre always used epazote in this stew, but cilantro can be substituted.
- 2 pounds beef shanks, including marrow bones
- ½ medium onion, peeled and sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 plum tomatoes cut in quarters
- 1 whole dried chipotle chile
- 1 sprig of fresh epazote or cilantro
- 1 corn tortilla, torn into pieces
- salt to taste
- 3 small white potatoes, quartered
- 3 ears of corn, cut into 4 slices each
- 1 large chayote, peeled, pitted and cut into 6 wedges
Place the meat, onion, garlic, tomatoes, chipotle, epazote, tortilla and salt to taste in a stockpot or cazuela with water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer until the meat is just tender. Remove the meat and set aside.
Strain the liquid from the pot and set aside. Place the ingredients that remain in the strainer in the blender. (At this point, the chipotle may be removed if desired.) Blend the ingredients into a smooth puree.
Return the cooking liquid, puree and meat to the stockpot. Add the potatoes, corn and chayote and cook, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender. Serve in soup bowls, evenly distributing the meat and vegetables.
Mexican stews: healthy winter comfort food
The comadre and her sixteen children, or how I started cooking Mexican food