On a cold day, stews and soups are the perfect way to warm up and feed a crowd without a lot of fuss. This spicy and filling stew can be ready in less than an hour and can easily be adapted to accommodate vegetarians, vegans and gluten-free diners.
Some Like It Hot
Everyone has a different tolerance for spicy foods. Some people prefer their chilis and wings red hot while others have a more sensitive palette. This stew can be adjusted to taste – add more or less spice as desired. Seeds of the jalapeno pepper are quite hot so leave them out for a milder stew. Likewise, the amount of red pepper flakes and chili powder can be adjusted accordingly. The amounts given in the recipe will result in a medium heat for the average palette.
Feed a Crowd
This stew makes about 10 cups, however to stretch it out to feed a large crowd, ladle each serving over cooked rice. Garlic bread, baguette, tortillas or nacho chips can also accompany the stew. The recipe can easily be doubled as well. For gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan adaptations, see the suggestions at the end of the recipe.
Southwest Style Beef and Black Bean Stew
(See below for gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan variations)
Makes about 10 cups
- 1.1 lbs / 500 grams beef, cut into 1” cubes (because the cooking time is relatively short, use a tender cut such as ribeye)
- ¼ cup flour
- 3 Tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or safflower
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 medium red pepper, diced
- 1 medium green pepper, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons chopped jalapeno peppers (optional – to taste)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or adjust to taste)
- 1-1/2 Tablespoons chili powder (or adjust to taste)
- 2 teaspoons cumin (or adjust to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice or white vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups beef stock
- 14 fl. oz. (414 ml) can diced tomatoes
- 5.5 fl. oz. (163 ml) can tomato paste
- Pinch of sugar
- 1-1/2 cups fresh, frozen or canned corn (equals one 12 oz/341 ml can)
- 1-1/2 cups cooked black beans (equals one 14 fl oz/ 414 ml can – drain and rinse if using canned)
- Salt, to taste
- Cooked Rice
- Flour or corn tortillas
- Grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Chopped onion
- Sour cream
- Pickled jalapenos
- Diced avocado
- Chopped cilantro
Pour ¼ cup of flour into a medium sized bowl and add the beef chunks. Toss the beef chunks in the flour until they are fully coated.
In a large pot, heat the oil on medium-high. Shake any excess flour off of the beef and add the beef to the pot. Sauté the beef cubes until browned, turning to ensure all sides are cooked, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot once browned and set aside on a plate.
Add the diced celery, red pepper, green pepper and onion to the pot. Cook on medium heat until just beginning to soften, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the garlic, jalapeno pepper, red pepper flakes, chili powder and cumin and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the lime juice and Worcestershire sauce.
Return the browned beef chunks to the pot. Pour in the beef stock and add the tomatoes. Use a large spoon to break the tomatoes up. Stir in the tomato paste until thoroughly combined. Add a pinch of sugar to offset the acidity of the tomatoes.
Simmer gently on medium heat for 25 minutes (uncovered), stirring occasionally. Do not bring to a hard boil.
Add the corn and black beans and stir to combine. Season with salt to taste and continue to cook for another 10 minutes.
To serve: Ladle the stew into bowls, over rice if desired. Warm corn or flour tortillas can also be served with the stew. Top with one or more of the suggested toppings.
To Make a Vegetarian/Vegan Version: Replace the beef with a 28 oz. can of kidney beans. Use vegetable stock in place of the beef stock. Adjust seasonings accordingly.
To Make the Stew Gluten-Free: Eliminate the step of rolling the beef in flour and just brown the pieces in the oil without the flour coating. Cook slightly longer to thicken the sauce.