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southwestern beef stew

Marco Verch/Flickr


For a rib-sticking twist on chili, try this corn-studded Southwestern beef stew

If you're ready to change up your regular beef stew recipe, consider this version with a Southwestern flavor profile. It is hearty, full of flavor and delicious.

Blend the Southwestern seasoning first. The full amount will keep in a tightly covered container for months. You will use 2 teaspoons in this recipe. Save the rest to use as a rub on roasts or steaks, or sprinkled on burgers.

Of course, you'll need some warm bread to go alongside your beef stew! A friend gave me this recipe years ago. A bonus is that you can refrigerate the unused batter for up to 3 days and bake another batch of rolls later in the week.

Southwestern Seasoning
Makes: About 1 cup

5 tablespoons table salt
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons finely ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground paprika
2 tablespoons mild chili powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
3/4 tablespoon dried thyme
3/4 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cayenne
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard powder

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and store in an airtight container.

Southwestern Beef and Vegetable Stew
Serves: 6 to 8

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons Southwest Seasoning (above)
2 pounds beef rump roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups beef stock
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can Lime and Cilantro Rotel tomatoes
1 (14.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can Mexican-flavored corn, drained
1 (14.5-ounce) can white hominy or white shoepeg corn, drained
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
Zest and juice of one lime
Chopped cilantro (optional)

In a small bowl, mix the flour and Southwestern Seasoning. Place beef in a large bowl, sprinkle in the flour mixture and, using tongs, toss to coat.

In a large Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. In batches, brown the beef. It does not need to be cooked through, but you want a deep browned color to the meat. Set aside on a plate.

When all the beef has been browned, add the chopped onions and let them cook just until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring constantly, for an additional 2 minutes. The tomato paste adds a tremendous flavor.

Add the beef stock and bring to a simmer, scraping up all of the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. There's a great deal of flavor in those browned bits. Add the Rotel, beans, corn, hominy, carrots and bay leaf, along with the browned beef and any juices left on the plate. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and partially cover the pot. Let simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, for an hour or so, until carrots are tender and stew has thickened slightly.

Just before serving, discard bay leaf, stir in lime juice and top each serving with lime zest and cilantro, if desired. Serve.

Easy Yeast Rolls
Makes: 18 to 24 rolls

2 cups water, heated to 105 to 115 degrees
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 large egg
4 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup vegetable oil
Suggested toppings: Grated cheese, a sprinkling of chili powder, dried dill, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, Italian seasoning and parsley

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin with nonstick oil spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together water, sugar and yeast. Set aside for 5 minutes.

Whisk in egg, followed by flour and oil. (Batter will be thin!) Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake 7 to 8 minutes. Sprinkle with toppings, if desired, and return to oven. Bake 3 to 7 minutes longer. Refrigerate unused batter. Stir well each time batter is used.

Photo (hero): Marco Verch/Flickr (license)

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Laura Tolbert, also known as Fleur de Lolly, has been sharing recipes, table decor ideas and advice for fellow foodies and novices on her blog, fleurdelolly.blogspot.com for more than eight years. You can contact her at fleurdelolly@yahoo.com.