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Early California Stew

Yield Makes about 12 cups; 6 servings
Notes: Make this stew at home a day or two ahead and refrigerate, or make well ahead and freeze. Reheat in camp and serve with tortillas, crusty bread, or basmati rice.Heat varies in chipotle chilies; taste as you add. Fresh green Anaheim chilies (also called California or New Mexico) can be used instead of poblanos.


  • 3 fresh poblano chilies (also called pasilla chilies), about 1/2 lb. total
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds fat-trimmed boneless beef chuck, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 onion (8 oz.), chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 can (about 14 1/2 oz.) chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 ounce (1/8 to 1/4 cup) dried chipotle chilies
  • 1 turnip (3/4 lb.), peeled
  • 2 carrots (1/2 lb. total)
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) white hominy
  • Salt

Nutrition Information

  • calories 458
  • caloriesfromfat 19 %
  • protein 35 g
  • fat 9.7 g
  • satfat 2.4 g
  • carbohydrate 58 g
  • fiber 13 g
  • sodium 1124 mg
  • cholesterol 68 mg

How to Make It

  1. At home: Stem, seed, devein, and coarsely chop poblano chilies.

  2. In a 5- to 6-quart nonstick pan over medium-high heat, combine poblano chilies and 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Stir often until chilies are limp, about 5 minutes. Pour chilies into a bowl.

  3. To pan, add remaining oil, meat, cumin, and oregano. Stir occasionally until meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic, and vinegar. Stir often until onion is limp, about 3 minutes.

  4. To pan, add tomatoes with their juice and 1 cup water. Cover and simmer over low heat until meat is tender when pierced, about 1 1/4 hours.

  5. Soak chipotles with 1 cup hot water until pliable, about 20 minutes. Stem, seed, devein, and mince chipotles.

  6. Cut turnip and carrots into 1/2-inch-thick sticks no more than 3 inches long. Drain and rinse beans and hominy.

  7. To pan, add turnip, carrots, beans, hominy, and poblano chilies; stir, then add chipotle chilies to taste. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender when pierced, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

  8. Uncover stew and let cool. Seal in plastic freezer bags. Chill up to 2 days, or freeze up to 2 months. Transport in an insulated chest.

  9. In camp: In a covered nonstick pan over low heat, warm chilled (thawed) stew, stirring occasionally. Add a little water to thin slightly, if desired.