Beef with Tequila, Tomato, and Orange Recipe

Elevate game-day fare with slow-cooked beef that gets a mysterious subtle fruitiness from a splash of tequila

Anyone with a phone or internet connection can order pizza. And most anyone can serve up a pot of chili. But with the Super Bowl coming up and plenty of other cold, wintry weekends on the horizon, you’ll score points with a different take on a warming meal with a pot of this beefy creation from cookbook author and meat expert Bruce Aidells, which appeared in Real Food. He says he was inspired by his friend Augustine, who hails from Mexico City, and loves cooking meat long and slow. “Sometimes it’s beef and sometimes it’s pork, and he’s been known to cook goat from time to time,” says Aidells. “But no matter what the meat, he always uses the shoulder cut because it has ample fat and enough chewiness to need long, slow, moist cooking. Augustine also has a little secret ingredient he throws into the pot—a little tequila—which gives the meat a mysterious, subtle fruitiness.” Serve this with lots of warm tortillas and Mexican rice— It can also be shredded to make a great filling for tacos, burritos or enchiladas. Touchdown!

Beef with Tequila, Tomato and Orange Recipe

Makes 8 to 10 Servings

3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
1 cup tequila
2 cups canned diced tomatoes
3 canned chipotle chilies in adobo
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup chicken stock
2 bay leaves

lime wedges
chopped fresh cilantro
finely chopped red onion

1. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle all over the chunks of meat. Save any leftover spice mix to use later.

2. Preheat oven to 325°F.

3. Heat oil in a large, heavy-lidded pot and brown meat in 2 to 3 batches until all sides are nicely browned. As you complete each batch, transfer the meat to a platter or bowl. When all of the meat is brown, pour off all but 2 tablespoons or so of fat and add the onions. Cover pot and cook onions until they are soft and just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Stir them from time to time. Stir in garlic and cook one minute more.

4. Pour in tequila and stir, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce tequila to about half. Add tomatoes, chipotle chilies, orange juice, chicken stock, bay leaves, reserved meat, and any leftover spice blend. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and place into the middle of the oven. Bake until meat is fork tender, about 2½ to 3 hours.

5. Transfer pot to the stovetop. Remove meat and decrease the liquid. Reduce liquid at a boil until it just becomes syrupy. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Add back meat and cook a minute more to reheat. Let guests add their own garnishes to taste.

Cook's Note: If you want to make ahead, this dish is great re-warmed. Let cool, refrigerate overnight, then remove any congealed surface fat and gently re-warm.

Nutrition info (per serving) Beef with Tequila Tomato and Orange: CALORIES 384 (201 from fat); FAT 22g (sat. 8g); CHOL 94mg; SODIUM 603mg; CARB 9g; FIBER 2g; PROTEIN 32g

Mary Subialka is the editor of Real Food and Drinks magazines, covering the flavorful world of food, wine, and spirits. She rarely meets a chicken she doesn’t like, and hopes that her son, who used to eat beets and Indian food as a preschooler, will one day again think of real food as more than something you need to eat before dessert and be inspired by his younger brother, who is now into trying new foods.