Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mexi-Texi Bistec Pedazos On Roasted Corn and Garlic Chipotle-Cilantro Mashers

This recipe is super special to me because it landed me a spot as a finalist in the 2006 Southern Living Cook-Off.  And I have to give credit to my bilingual hubby for helping me come up with the title.  When I was writing the recipe, I was brainstorming about what to call this dish.  Beef tips just didn't seem creative enough, so I asked my husband to give me a Spanish word that meant "pieces or chunks."  He shot out a few of them, but when he mentioned "pedazos", it had a nice ring to it, so I put it all together in one twelve word title, called it a day, and sent it in.  A couple of months later I got the call that I would be competing in Charleston, South Carolina for $100,000.  No, I didn't win (click here for the yummy recipe that won that year) but as always, I met wonderful people and had the time of my life.  (One of the people I competed with is now a blogger too.  Here is her delicious category winning recipe, FYI.)

So this meal is comfort food with a little bit of Southwestern spice.  The mashed potatoes, if I do say so myself, are to die for.  They are jazzed up with roasted corn and garlic, a little chipotle and lots of cilantro.  The tender chunks of beef are swimming in a gravy flavored with chili powder, cumin, Mexican oregano, and chipotle.  This is really a soul-warming winter meal. 

Here are my notes:

-If you can't find Mexican oregano, regular oregano will work just fine.

 -The chipotle seasoning, as all the seasoning, can be adjusted to your liking.  I don't like things too spicy, so this amount is good for me.  Just stir all the seasonings together in the flour, add water, and whisk until smooth.  This mixture is poured into the beef broth with the meat and it will thicken to a rich sauce/gravy as it cooks. 

-This is important--you will need to stir the meat every 15-20 minutes or it will stick.  I promise that it will.

-If you have a hard time finding fresh corn, you can use frozen.  I did.

-I HATE peeling potatoes.  And I love the texture of the skins in mashed potatoes, so I leave them unpeeled.  I used golden skin potatoes this time, but I have used red skin in the past.

-I would really love to try this with venison.  In fact, if I can find another venison ham in my freezer (hubby hasn't killed one this year yet to restock our freezer and I am almost out of last year's supply), I will try this soon.

-Roasting garlic is a cinch, so if you've never done it, try it.  The flavor it gives mashed potatoes is unbelievable.

Mexi-Texi Bistec Pedazos on Roasted Corn and Garlic Chipotle-Cilantro Mashers

3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
3 pounds boneless top sirloin roast, cut into about 2 to 2 1/2-inch pieces
Salt and pepper for seasoning meat

3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Mexican style chili powder
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper  
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 cup warm water
2 cups beef broth

1 head of garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil, divided
3 medium ears corn, shucked and washed

2 pounds red skinned potatoes, scrubbed, peelings left on, and cut into roughly 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup butter
1 finely chopped chipotle pepper plus one teaspoon adobo sauce (from a 7-ounce can)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Sour cream
Chopped Cilantro

Sliced Avocado for garnish, if desired

In a Dutch oven, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat.  Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in hot oil. Meanwhile, stir together 3/4 cup flour, 1 teaspoon salt, the chili powder, the Mexican oregano, 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper, and the cumin.  Stir in 1 cup warm water until smooth.  Add 2 cups beef broth and the flour-spice mixture to the beef in the Dutch oven when beef is browned.  Stir and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low, place a tight fitting lid on the pot, and simmer for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until meat is tender, stirring occasionally.
While beef is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the top off of the head of garlic and place on a piece of foil.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and fold foil to seal.  Place in oven for 1 hour.  Meanwhile, place corn on cookie sheet and brush with remaining 1 tablespoon oil.  Place in oven while garlic is roasting for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until corn is golden brown.  Remove corn from oven and set aside to cool.  When garlic is done, remove from oven and cool.  Discard the outermost layer of papery skin from garlic.  Squeeze out the soft garlic pulp and set aside. Cut corn from cob and set aside.

When meat is almost done, cook potatoes in boiling water in a large saucepan until fork tender, about 15-20 minutes.  While potatoes are boiling, heat the milk, sour cream, butter, the finely chopped chipotle pepper and adobo sauce, the reserved roasted garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and the black pepper in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisking until butter is melted and everything is hot and combined.  Turn off heat.  When potatoes are done, drain well and return to pan.  Mash slightly, then pour in milk mixture and continue mashing until mixed, but not completely smooth.  Stir in reserved corn and 1/2 cup chopped cilantro.

To serve, divide mashed potatoes onto each plate.  Spoon beef and gravy on top of potatoes.  Top with a spoonful of sour cream and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.  Garnish with avocado slices if desired. 

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  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! And I had no idea I now have a reply feature to comments!

  2. Thanks for the shout out Lorie. This is a wonderful recipe. I'm so glad you posted it as I was just searching for a recipe to make for some visitors that will be with us for several days. This will be perfect. I wish that SL would bring back their contest. What a great time.

  3. I do too, Karen. :( Fun times.