It’s funny, Beth and I both agree that this recipe is one of the best I have created in the last couple of years, yet we disagree on how we came to get to where it is. I think it was the wonderful byproduct of a mistake, she thinks it was her and I talking about making it. Either way, it’s here to stay for us and it gets made about once a month. I will be adding the other two recipes for this separately over the next couple of days (Pico de Gallo and Corn Tortilla’s) .
This also may seem like a lot of work, it really isn’t. This portion of the meal takes a total of about 20 minutes prep and 3 hours cooking, the other two things together might take a total of 45 minutes prep and cooking combined. Do not be discouraged into thinking this will be a huge amount of work and time, it isn’t, and the payoff in the end is truly well worth every second.
Cutting board, large bowl, sharp knife, tongs, spice grinder, nutmeg rasp OR micro-plane, cast iron enamel pot OR dutch oven OR heavy bottom stainless steel pan (which is what I use). If you are already using ground spices (blah) then don’t worry about the spice grinder or the nutmeg rasp (once again…blah!)
1.5kg Beef Short Ribs OR Stewing Beef
2 litres of stock (beef and veggie mix is nice, beef works great)
30 ml canola oil (2 tbsp)
1 full stick of ceylon cinnamon fresh ground **
1/2 nut fresh ground nutmeg (10ml or 2 tsp)
30 ml chili powder (Mexican if you please) (2 tbsp)
30 ml of cumin seeds, rough grind in a mortar and pestle (2 tbsp)
30 ml flour (2 tbsp)
10 ml salt (2 tsp)
10 ml fresh ground pepper (rough grind)
1 Vidallia or White Onion
** Ceylon Cinnamon is not the normal spice we get in North America. It’s a much finer bark and has less sharp flavours, muted, earthy. Works great with meat. If you do not have Ceylon Cinnamon and are using either a thick bark cinnamon or ground stuff you bought at a local grocer use 1tbsp (15ml) instead.
If you are using Beef short ribs you can cut them from the bone and cut the meat into smaller stewing style pieces if you like. I do that simply because I like getting as much flavour out of the initial browning process as I can. I always add the bones into the mix while cooking. 2 cm cubes (inch square) will work fine.
Put all of your meat, spices, salt and flour into the same bowl and coat the meat. Let meat rest and enjoy the spice bath for about 20 minutes. In the mean time start heating up your pot to medium high and add the oil to it. While you are waiting for this, clean up your cutting board and knife. Once the pot has reached temperature place all the beef into the pot, ensuring to brown each piece of beef on all four sides.
Once you have finished browning the meat you can remove it and put it back into your bowl. Slowly pour some of the stock into the pot, deglaze the pot then pour the remainder of your stock in. Carefully add the meat from the bowl in. Slice your onion into quarters and place in pot.
Turn the pot down to low on your stove, put on your lid and let it simmer low for about 2.5 hours making sure that you stir it occasionally. At the end of about 2 hours take a cube of beef in your tongs and squeeze gently. If the beef turns into shreds it’s basically done (usually about 2.5 hours). Take the top off your pot, turn it up to a gentle simmer and cook down the stock until it turns into a gravy, stirring on a regular basis. Use your tongs to stir and break up the meat more with every chance you get.
Serve on corn tortilla’s and put Pico de Gallo onto it…Enjoy!