Beef Brisket in Colorado Chile Sauce
Pechuga de Res en Salsa de Chile Colorado
6 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of some of the fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1⁄2 white onion
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
10 to 12 dried colorado chiles, stemmed and seeded
- 1⁄2 pound ripe tomatoes or half a 15-ounce can whole tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped white onion
- 5 to 6 dried chiltepín chiles, stemmed
- 2 dried chiles de árbol, stemmed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste 2 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose ﬂour
For the Meat
For the Stew
To cook the meat: Place the meat in a large pot and cover with at least 3 quarts water. Add the onion half, garlic cloves, bay leaves, salt, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam that has risen to the top, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the meat is tender enough to pull apart easily with your fingers, 1 1⁄4 to 1 1⁄2 hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl. Strain the broth into another bowl; discard the solids. Measure out 4 cups broth and freeze the rest for another use.
- Once the meat is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces, removing any excess fat. Set aside.
- To make the stew: Place the colorado chiles, fresh tomatoes, if using, and garlic cloves in a medium saucepan. Cover with water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chiles have softened and the tomatoes are mushy.
- Transfer the chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and 1⁄2 cup of the cooking liquid to a blender. Add the canned tomatoes, if using, onion, chiltepín chiles, chiles de árbol, oregano, and salt and puree until smooth.
- Heat the lard or oil in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the flour and stir together well. Cook, stirring, for a minute or two, or until the roux is bubbling and browned. Add the chile puree and cook, stirring often and making sure the mixture doesn’t stick and burn, for 5 to 6 minutes, until it has thick-ened and darkened slightly.
- Stir in the reserved beef broth, add the shredded cooked meat, and bring to a simmer, stirring. Reduce the heat to medium, cover partially, and cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pot, until the sauce has thickened and the meat is coated with the chile mixture and so tender it is falling apart, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt.
- Ladle the stew into bowls and serve.