Mexican beef stew

  • 3 ancho chiles (see FYI, below)
    1 1/2 lb lean beef chunks for stew (see Cuts for Stew, below)
    1/4 cup flour
    2 Tbsp oil
    14.5-oz can diced tomatoes in thick juice
    2 cups beef broth
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1/2 tsp dried oregano
    1/2 tsp salt
    1-lb butternut squash, peeled and cut in 3/4- to 1-in. chunks (3 cups)
    1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels
    1. Cut chiles in half, remove stems and scoop out seeds (see Handling Hot Peppers, below). Soak chiles in 1 1/2 cups hot water 20 minutes or until soft.
    2. While chiles soak, put beef and flour in a large plastic food bag and shake to coat.
    3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a 4-qt Dutch oven over medium-high heat (see Dutch Oven, below). Add half the beef and cook 4 to 5 minutes, turning pieces three or four times, until well-browned. Remove to a plate. Brown remaining meat in the same way. Put first batch back in pot.
    4. While beef browns, put chiles and soaking water in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add to beef. Stir in tomatoes, broth, cumin, oregano and salt.
    5. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover pot, leaving lid slightly ajar, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in squash and corn, return to a simmer, partially cover and cook 45 minutes longer, or until beef and squash are tender when pierced.
    Tip: Chuck is a lean and flavorful choice for stew, as is beef round.
    Per serving: 651 cal, 35 g pro, 35 g car, 3 g fiber, 43 g fat (15 g sat fat), 124 mg chol, 923 mg sod
    FYI: Anchos start life as poblanos, the dark-green chiles often stuffed for chiles rellenos. When dried, the 3- to 4-in.-long, not-too-incendiary chiles turn deep red and acquire a new name: anchos.
    Handling Hot Peppers: When cutting up jalapeños or other fiery peppers, be sure not to touch your face, eyes or other sensitive areas until you have thoroughly washed your hands. If you are working with a lot of hot peppers, slip on disposable gloves before you start.