with thanks to My Cocina, My Kitchen
- 2 pounds sirloin or chuck steak, cut into strips or small chunks
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 large white onion, chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 serrano pepper, slightly toasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon Mexican oregano (regular is fine)
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups beef broth
Dredge the cubed meat in flour, coating well.
In a heavy, deep-sided skillet or Dutch oven, add the oil and heat over medium heat. Add the cubed meat and brown thoroughly, stirring often.
While the meat is browning, in a small saute pan, toast the cumin seeds and then add them to the molcajete (mortar and pestle). Use the same pan to toast the serrano pepper.
In a molcajete which already has the cumin, add the garlic, and black peppercorns. Grind into a paste. Add 1/2 cup of water and stir (this is to make sure you remove all the paste from the molcajete) and set aside.
Once the meat is browned, add the garlic, comino and peppercorn paste and liquid from molcajete to the pot. Add the onion, tomato, cilantro, serrano, oregano, paprika, chili powder, and salt and saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
Add beef broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the beef is tender and the mixture has cooked down to a thick sauce.
THIS DISH. This dish is a distinct food memory of my younger years. Steve’s sister used to make this from time to time when we were young and dating and we were living with his family. She used pork instead of beef but essentially it was this dish. WHY OH WHY did I wait so long to make this myself??
This was even better than I imagined it would be. Savory, spicy, and near-addictively good. I made it with relatively lean chuck because it’s what I could find, but I think you could use almost any kind of beef. I also can’t wait to try it with pork shoulder. Served with rice, tortillas, and avocado for dinner and with rice and a fried egg for lunch the next day. Dreamy, all the way around.