We still had some stew meat from when we bought 1/4 of a cow from Larry’s sister. Larry wanted me to make chili with it, but I wasn’t in the mood for chili. So I compromised and made a Mexican beef stew instead. It was similar to chili, but not as thick. My sauce for the chili was a spicy Mexican adobo sauce. It was full of flavor and just hit the spot.
Adobo is both a cooking style and a dish. It is both Spanish and Filipino in origin. Before the Spanish voyaged to the new world and the Pacific, they were making dishes and preserving meats that were similar to the Filipino adobo style, which was done with vinegar and salt. When the Spaniards went to the Philippines, they made adaptations and combined what they were already doing with the Filipino methods, to create what is now known as adobo. The first record of an adobo dish was in 1613, from the Spaniard Pedro de San Buenadventura. The Filipinos had been preserving meats like this for centuries, long before the arrival of the Spaniards, though there were no written records of these methods.
The Filipino method of adobo-style cooking was to preserve meats in a combination of vinegar and salts. The Spanish introduced foods from the new world, such as tomatoes, garlic, onions, chilies, peppers, herbs and spices. In the Mexican-style adobos, chilies are the main focus, usually including 3 or more different types of chilies in the mixture. An adobo can be a dry rub or it can be made into a paste or a sauce. I have to say, I am not well versed in the Filipino style of cooking, but I am very familiar with the Spanish and the Mexican ways of cooking, and do so quite often. My adobo beef stew was cooked Mexican style, a la Jeanne. I served it over a combination of rice and corn, along side some sauteed zucchini, crookneck, onions and garlic. To finish it off, I added a smooth pinot noir, making everything just perfect. The smooth fruity flavor combinations of the pinot noir were a perfect combination for the spiciness of the stew.
Mexican Adobo Beef and Mushroom Stew
2 lbs beef, cut into cubes
salt & pepper to taste
3-5 chipotle chilies, with sauce, minced fine
1 TBSP garlic
1 shallot, chopped fine or sliced very thin
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced – use any combination or variety of mushrooms you like
2 tsp sugar
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 TBSP spiced cocoa powder
2 tsp Mexican chocolate
2 cups baked beans – optional
chopped cilantro and/or parsley for garnish
Coat the meat with salt and pepper and brown it in the olive oil.
While the meat is cooking, make your adobo paste, by mixing all the spices, peppers, and vinegar together. I had some leftover baked beans that I added as well, but this is optional. It gave the stew a more hearty quality, plus it used up my leftovers. Once everything is combined well, add the sliced mushrooms and combine thoroughly once again.
When the meat is completely browned, add it to the mixture and combine well. Then pour the contents into a slow cooker. Pour the chicken broth over the mixture and mix everything together thoroughly.
Cook the stew at a medium temperature for about 2- 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender. When the stew is done, serve over rice or potatoes. !Desfruitas!